Year(s) and type of review / ECDD meetings
Drug Class

Recommendation (from TRS)

Substance identification
AH-7921 is an N-substituted cyclohexylmethylbenzamide and is chemically 3,4-dichloro-N-{[1-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]methyl}benzamide.

Previous review
AH-7921 had not been previously pre-reviewed or critically reviewed by the Committee. A direct critical review was proposed based on information brought to WHO’s attention that AH-7921 is clandestinely manufactured, poses an especially serious risk to public health and society, and has no recognized therapeutic use by any party. Preliminary data collected from the literature and from different countries indicated that this substance may cause substantial harm and that it has no medical use.

Similarity to known substances and effects on the central nervous system
AH-7921 has been shown in animals to be generally equipotent to morphine, exhibiting a steep dose–response curve for respiratory depression. It is a μ-opioid receptor agonist although its analgesic activity may also involve κ-opioid receptors. AH-7921 is a central nervous system depressant. In addition to analgesia, relaxation, euphoria, so-called opiate glow, and alertness, occasional itching, nausea and tremors have been described by self-reporting users. Various analytically confirmed non-fatal and fatal intoxications involving AH-7921 have been reported in the literature.

Dependence potential
No studies have examined the dependence potential of AH-7921 in vitro, in animals or in humans. There have been few studies on the dependence/abuse potential of AH-7921 and no specific studies in humans. However, dependence liability studies in animals showed that AH-7921 produced a withdrawal syndrome similar to that observable for morphine using a similar dose schedule.

Actual abuse and/or evidence of likelihood of abuse
AH-7921 abuse and/or seized material has been reported in nine countries. AH-7921 use appears to be associated with the purchase of so-called research chemicals or equivalent products via the Internet.

Therapeutic usefulness
Although investigated as an opioid for analgesia, AH-7921 has no recorded therapeutic applications or medical use.

AH-7921 is an opioid with "morphine-like" effects. The Committee considered that the degree of risk to public health and society associated with the abuse liability and accompanying evidence warranted its placement under international control. Therapeutic use has not been recorded. The Committee recommended that AH-7921 be placed in Schedule I of the 1961 Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol.

ECDD Recommendation

Inclusion in Schedule I of the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs