W-18 is a research chemical with analgesic activity first made by three pharmaceutical chemists at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in the early 1980s. It’s one of 35 related chemicals named in a U.S. patent granted in 1984 that were shown to be either painkillers or blockers of the painkilling effect of morphine in mice, but not humans. The “W” comes from the graduate student who made them with two of his professors. The number denotes that it was the 18th chemical in the patent.
The chemical name of W-18 is 1-(4-nitrophenylethyl)piperidylidine-2-(4-chlorophenyl)sulfonamide. Synthetic opioid drugs are man-made copies of naturally occurring painkiller drugs, such as heroin, a drug that is made from certain strains of the poppy plant.
Opioid drugs are most often used in medical settings as powerful painkillers, although the euphoria that is part of the effect makes them attractive to drug dealers and drug users as recreational drugs. They are also typically highly addictive, producing tolerance quickly, and withdrawal if the person taking the drug for a period of time suddenly stops taking it.
Opioid drugs, whether natural or synthetic, also carry a significant risk of overdose, and for that reason are highly risky to take without medical supervision. The amount of the drug that can cause death varies a great deal from person to person, and small changes, such as how long and how much of the drug has been taken, recent weight loss, and interactions with other drugs taken, can drastically change the risk of overdose in the same person.
Side Effects of Use
Subjective effects are similar to those of heroin and includes pain relief (analgesia), sedation, respiratory depression, and euphoria. However, it has a rapid onset and short duration of action relative to other opioids, which can lead to compulsive redosing.
W-18 is a highly dangerous substance due its addictiveness and the difficulty with which it can be safely dosed. As a result of its incredible potency, users are advised to be aware of the extreme risk they are placing themselves in if they choose to use W-18.