Alert: Dangerous Superman-branded ‘Ecstasy’ Pills Still Available

Public Health England (PHE) has issued a warning to people in the UK that Superman-branded pills being sold as ecstasy but containing the highly dangerous PMMA are still in circulation in Europe, and are urging drug users to be vigilant. 

PHE received an alert from Spain on January 26 that pills containing high levels of PMMA (paramethoxymethamphetamine) had been discovered being sold in Madrid, suggesting availability across the continent has not significantly diminished despite the drugs' lethality. 

The alert comes only shortly after the death of four people over the Christmas and New Year period in the UK who had taken Superman-branded pills containing PMMA. 

PMMA is a drug that has similar effects to MDMA (the chemical normally found in ecstasy). However, PMMA can kill at lower doses than MDMA. What's more, the drug takes longer to take effect meaning users are at risk of increasing their dose if they believe they have been sold MDMA.

To find out more about differences between the two, and for harm reduction advice, see Release's infographic here