NOTE: This article originally contained images of an ANI Pharmaceuticals opium tincture, as well as a 100 gram Oxycodone powder bottle by Spectrum Chemicals. The user that posted both of these to Reddit has asked that we remove them. The opium tincture image has been replaced with a web image of a different brand, but unfortunately the bulk oxycodone photo is irreplaceable.

Abusable Pharmaceutical Drugs From the Past (And Present) has compiled a collection of images showing off nine incredibly rare pharmaceutical drugs, with most of them being time pieces at this point. This article is possible entirely because of the incredibly interesting /r/ObscureDrugs community on Reddit.

Modern Opium Tincture

[via Wikipedia]

Believe it or not, tinctures of opium are still manufactured and prescribed to (usually elderly) patients to treat certain ailments, usually ones that cannot be solved by more commonly used medication. Opium is the latex of poppy plant which contains nature’s three opiates: morphine, codeine and thebaine.

Clonazepam “Bars”

[via u/Spiritual-Singer]

In the eastern world, 2 mg Clonazepam pills are available in the form of bars, very similar to the ever-popular form of Xanax. Clonazepam is a strong benzodiazepine that is very similar to Xanax (Alprazolam), and approximately equally as potent dose-to-dose. The difference is that clonazepam has a very long half-life and the effects take significantly longer to fade (around a day). Xanax lasts roughly a few hours, but an “afterglow” can linger into the next day.

“Big Pharma’s” Take on Weed

[via u/AcceptableDish6]

Did you know that “big pharma” has been utilizing cannabis as a profitable, prescribable medicine since the 80s? Marinol, known generically as dronabinol, is a pharmaceutical, synthetic version of THC, more specifically the enantiomer form [(−)-trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol]. The active ingredient is dissolved in sesame oil within a small gel pill.

Appetite stimulant and anti-emetic – Dronabinol is used to stimulate appetite and therefore weight gain in patients with HIV/AIDS and cancer. It is also used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Dronabinol demonstrates significant improvement in sleep apnea scores.

Analgesic – Dronabinol demonstrated analgesic efficacy in a majority of studies in chronic pain, the data in acute pain is less conclusive.

Cannabis addiction – Dronabinol may be useful in treating cannabis addiction as it has been shown to reduce cannabis withdrawal symptoms and the subjective effects of marijuana.

Medical uses of dronabinol on Wikipedia

Anecdotally, prescription THC seems to be rather unabusable and more utilitarian in nature. The “pleasant” effects of cannabis are long thought to be the result of the entourage effect, meaning that all active constituents of the plant are required for a balanced experience.

“I got 240 Marinol to experiment. First off let me mention that these pills are very costly. I think it came to around 25 dollars a pill. Insurance covered it. Marinol 10 mg orange tablets. They are stored in the refridge. It contains dronabinol in a sesame seed oil base.

So here’s how it went. The first time I tried them I took one and hours went by with no noticable effects. So the next day I took two and again no effect that I could notice. The third day I took 3 figuring I would notice it, but still not really something I could say much about. So the next day it was 5 and at this point I figured it was really weak. So the next day at night I decided to on a whim take ten. You have to understand that I didn’t notice barely anything at five so I figured what the hell. I ate ten and about and hour later retired to bed.

Maybe two hours after I ate them and about an hour of sleeping I woke up with a very peculiar feeling. I was laughing as if I was being tickled. It was by no means pleasant and I had a feeling of high altitude and light headedness. It was not like eating herb. It was really not fun. I almost went to the ER but got some charcoal in me and it mellowed after a few hours. Marinol is a sad replacment for pot.”

A user’s dronabinol abuse experience [via Erowid]

Oldschool Meth / Speed / Barbiturate Capsules

[via u/APOSTATE_Vibes]

Winston Pharmaceuticals once sold a product called “Anox”, which amazingly contained methamphetamine, dextro-amphetamine, and three different barbiturates all in one capsule. Similarly dosed methamphetamine pills are still prescribed to this day, known as “Desoxyn“. Dextro-amphetamine is also still prescribed, though much more frequently, and is one of the primary ingredients in the amphetamine cocktail Adderall.

Phenobarbital, butabarbital and secobarbital are all highly abusable hypnotic drugs that were once commonly prescribed in place of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium were primarily developed to replace barbiturates, due to the fact that they had serious problems with diversion, abuse/addiction and side effects.


Bulk Phenobarbital Powder

[via u/Sixthshoal]

Luminal was once a commonly prescribed (and abused) brand of the drug phenobarbital, which is a very old GABAergic hypnotic drug from the class of drugs known as barbiturates. In the twentieth century, phenobarbital was widely used, and sometimes still is, for things like seizures, anxiety, insomnia, drug withdrawal, alcohol detoxification and surgery. It is still commonly used to treat neonatal seizures.

Pictured is a glass bottle of pure phenobarbital powder (14,200 mg) that was made for use in a compounding pharmacy.

Pure Cocaine Tablets

[via u/psychedelicnickk]

This particular picture shows antique cocaine hydrochloride ampoules which are unbroken and filled with hypodermic tablets. These small pellets are designed to be dissolved in an injectable solution.

Seconal Capsules

[via u/APOSTATE_Vibes]

Many recreational drug users consider Seconal (secobarbital) to be one of the holy grails of abusable barbiturates, along with Amytal and Nembutal. Now barely still available, it was once a common hypnotic and anxiolytic and was known on the street under many names, including “red devils”, “reds” and “seccies”.

This Redditor was able to find a full bottle of 50 mg Lilly Seconal pulvules.

Modern Ketamine Nasal Spray

[via u/executive-branch]

This is a photograph of a modern Spravato nasal spray, which contains a liquid solution of esketamine (S(+) enantiomer of ketamine). Similar to ketamine, esketamine is an NMDA antagonist dissociative drug and is used for treatment-resistant depression in modern times (phase III clinical trials came to completion in 2017). Esketamine was also used as an anesthetic in Germany starting in 1997.

Antique Stimulant Capsules

[via u/APOSTATE_Vibes]

Redditor u/APOSTATE_Vibes shows off three antique medicinal stimulants:

15 mg “Benzedrine sulfate” tablets – Capsules containing racemic amphetamine sulfate, which refers to equal parts of levo-amphetamine and dextro-amphetamine. These capsules are roughly equivalent to modern 15 mg Adderall tablets.

2 mg “d-Desoxyephedrine hydrochloride” tablets d-Desoxyephedrine is an older name which refers to the D isomer of methamphetamine, the more recreational and abusable form of meth. 2 mg is a relatively low dose, even as far as therapeutic use goes.

“Amphfdroxyn hydrochloride” tablets by Lilly – 2.5 mg tablets of pure methamphetamine.


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