Top 5 Takeaways

1. Bromazolam Might Be Sold as Benzodiazepines: Identified as a counterfeit benzodiazepine, bromazolam use has increased, often found in combination with fentanyl.
2. Severe Health Impacts: Three young adults in Chicago experienced seizures, hyperthermia, and myocardial injury after ingesting bromazolam mislabeled as alprazolam.
3. Clinical Presentation: Patients presented with unresponsiveness, high body temperatures, and seizures; two recovered, while one remained in a coma.
4. Public Health Concern: Rising incidences of bromazolam poisoning highlight the need for awareness among healthcare providers and emergency responders.
5. Guidance for Clinicians: Bromazolam intoxication should be considered in similar cases, emphasizing the need for aggressive seizure control and public health involvement.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Paul Ehlers,

Suggested Citation

Ehlers PF, Deitche A, Wise LM, et al. Notes from the Field: Seizures, Hyperthermia, and Myocardial Injury in Three Young Adults Who Consumed Bromazolam Disguised as Alprazolam — Chicago, Illinois, February 2023. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2024;72:1392–1393. DOI: .


This report discusses a concerning case of three young adults in Chicago experiencing severe health issues after consuming bromazolam, a designer drug, mistaken for alprazolam. Bromazolam has seen a notable increase in toxicological identification and law enforcement seizures in recent years. The patients, two men and one woman, were found unresponsive with symptoms including hyperthermia and seizures.


The clinical presentation and treatment of these patients are detailed, emphasizing the severity of the health impacts caused by bromazolam. The drug was confirmed through toxicological testing, and the treatment followed included intensive care without the use of flumazenil due to its potential adverse effects.


The cases highlight the dangerous and unexpected effects of bromazolam consumption, differing from typical benzodiazepine overdoses. The report underscores the importance of awareness among healthcare professionals and emergency responders regarding the rise in bromazolam use.


The increase in bromazolam-related incidents calls for heightened vigilance and knowledge amongst medical professionals to manage such cases effectively. The report suggests the need for public health engagement and comprehensive care for patients presenting with symptoms of drug intoxication, especially involving designer drugs like bromazolam.


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