Webinar: Naming Novel Psychoactive Substances

July 19, 2021 — A one-hour webinar from the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence on Thursday, July 22 will address the challenge presented by the way novel psychoactive substances (NPS) are named, both scientifically and colloquially.

According to the webinar description, "Historically, many of these individual sub-classes of NPS have held their own well-recognized naming convention. Sometimes multiple naming schemes can co-exist for a single drug. As a result, one is often faced with multiple synonyms for the same substance, and this is where confusion can arise."

In one sub-class of synthetic cannabinoids, an easy-to-use naming convention has been widely adopted, offering an extremely systematic and widely used solution (e.g. 5F-MDMB-PINACA). "The presenters will discuss the existing naming convention and review its strengths and highlight some of its drawbacks," says the webinar description.

For NPS synthetic opioids of the fentanyl sub-class, however, another naming convention has been used, centering around the root name "fentanyl". According to the webinar summary, "NPS that are structurally similar to fentanyl are often named by adding the substituent as a prefix (e.g. para-fluorofentanyl) with a defined designation of the location of that substituent on the core scaffold. The presenters will discuss the development of this naming convention and its application to novel compounds."

Other naming conventions, including ones ending in "-ylone" and "-drone" will be discussed, along with approaches to naming newly discovered NPS in the future.

Learn more or register here.

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