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Nifoxipam: A Comprehensive Look at Its Risks and Legal Status

by | Aug 15, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

What is Nifoxipam?

Nifoxipam is a benzodiazepine drug, similar to other medications such as diazepam (brand name Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). It is a psychoactive substance often used for treating anxiety and panic disorders. Nifoxipam works by regulating the balance of certain brain chemicals and neurotransmitters, helping to calm the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety and apprehension. It is sold under various brand names and formulations, typically taken orally in the form of tablets or capsules.

However, Nifoxipam is not approved for medical use in many countries, including the United States and much of Europe, due to concerns about its safety and potential for abuse. In some cases, it has been associated with adverse side effects such as sedation, drowsiness, and impaired cognitive function.

Legal Status in the United States

In the United States, Nifoxipam is not approved for medical use and is not available for prescription. Despite this, it is possible to obtain the drug through online purchases from foreign vendors, often Chinese chemical factories with permission from the Chinese government, or through the gray market. Buyers may also purchase Nifoxipam as a research chemical, which requires a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for production, distribution, and manufacturing of the drug. Despite the illegality of obtaining and using Nifoxipam without a prescription, users still seek it out for its purported calming and sedative effects. However, it’s important to note that Nifoxipam has not been extensively studied, and the long-term side effects are not well understood. Using this drug outside of a medical setting and without proper monitoring could result in serious health consequences.

Effects of Nifoxipam

Nifoxipam is a benzodiazepine-type medication with strong tranquillization and sleep-prolonging effects. It works by enhancing the activity of GABA neurotransmitters, responsible for regulating activity in the brain. Despite its effectiveness, prolonged use of Nifoxipam can lead to dependence and tolerance. Therefore, it should be taken only as prescribed by a medical professional. In addition, it can cause drowsiness, impaired motor control, and memory impairment, as well as other side-effects such as headaches and dizziness. It is essential to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while taking Nifoxipam and be aware of the risks it poses. Furthermore, Nifoxipam should not be taken with alcohol or other sedatives due to the potential for severe respiratory depression.

Comparison to Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)

Rohypnol, also known as “roofies,” is a highly potent sedative drug that gained notoriety as a date-rape drug due to its ability to impair judgment and memory. Like Nifoxipam, Rohypnol is classified as a benzodiazepine, which means it acts on the brain’s GABA receptors to produce calming and sedative effects. However, Rohypnol is more potent than Nifoxipam and can cause more severe signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, confusion, loss of coordination, and even respiratory failure. In comparison to Nifoxipam, Rohypnol also has a longer half-life, which means the drug stays in the body for longer periods of time. Users of both drugs may experience similar effects.

Risk of Overdose and Sedation

The misuse of benzodiazepines, including Nifoxipam, can lead to serious side effects such as overdose and sedation. Overdose can occur when a person takes too much of the drug, whether accidentally or intentionally, leading to difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and even death. Sedation, on the other hand, refers to a state of extreme drowsiness and decreased alertness, which can also be dangerous, particularly if the person needs to drive or operate machinery. People who take Nifoxipam are at risk of experiencing both of these side effects, especially if they take more than the prescribed dose, take the drug more frequently than recommended, or use it in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

Potentiation of Other Depressants

When Nifoxipam is combined with other depressants such as alcohol or opioids, it can amplify the effects of these substances, increasing the risk of dependence, addiction, and overdose. Furthermore, the potentiation effect of Nifoxipam can impair judgment and cognitive function, leading to dangerous situations and accidents.

Controlled Substance Status

Nifoxipam is a benzodiazepine derivative and a controlled substance in many countries, but not the United States. Many states have scheduled it at the state level as a Schedule IV drug, which means that it has a low potential for abuse and dependence compared to drugs in Schedule I, II, and III.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Q: What is Nifoxipam? 

A: Nifoxipam is a designer nitrobenzodiazepine compound with the chemical structure C15H10FN3O4.

Q: What are the effects of Nifoxipam? 

A: Nifoxipam produces strong tranquilizing and sleep-prolonging effects and has much lower toxicity compared to other benzodiazepines.

Q: How does Nifoxipam compare to other benzodiazepines in terms of toxicity? 

A: Nifoxipam has much lower toxicity compared to other benzodiazepines.

Q: What is the potency of Nifoxipam? 

A: Nifoxipam is highly potent and can lead to unexpected loss of consciousness.

Q: Are there any known metabolites of Nifoxipam? 

A: There are currently no known metabolites of Nifoxipam.

Q: Is there any analytical reference material available for Nifoxipam? 

A: Yes, analytical reference material for Nifoxipam is available.

Q: What physical properties does Nifoxipam have? 

A: Nifoxipam is a white crystalline powder with a melting point of 194-196°C

Q: When was Nifoxipam first identified as a drug of abuse? 

A: Nifoxipam was first identified as a drug of abuse in October 2016.

Q: Is there any potential for Nifoxipam to potentiate other drugs? 

A: There is potential for Nifoxipam to potentiate other drugs and increase their effects.

Q: What information should law enforcement be aware of regarding Nifoxipam? 

A: Law enforcement should be aware that Nifoxipam is a highly potent drug that produces strong tranquilizing and sleep-prolonging effects, and can lead to unexpected loss of consciousness. Additionally, there is analytical reference material available for Nifoxipam.


While Nifoxipam might appear as a potential remedy for anxiety or sleep disturbances, the associated risks are substantial. From its illegal status in the U.S. to the potential for addiction, cognitive impairment, and overdose, it’s vital to approach this substance with caution. Always prioritize informed and safe decisions.

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