Overview and History of 3-Methyl furanylfentanyl
3-Methylfentanyl was first discovered in 1974 and subsequently appeared on the street as an alternative to the clandestinely produced fentanyl analog α-methylfentanyl. However, it quickly became apparent that 3-methylfentanyl was much more potent than α-methylfentanyl, and correspondingly even more dangerous.
While 3-methylfentanyl was initially sold on the black market for only a short time between 1984 and 1985, its high potency made it an attractive target to clandestine drug producers, as racemic 3-MF is 10–15 times more potent than fentanyl, and so correspondingly larger amounts of cut product for street sales can be produced for an equivalent amount of effort as for producing fentanyl itself; one gram of 3-methylfentanyl might be sufficient to produce several thousand dosage units once diluted for sale. 3-MF has thus reappeared several times, at various places around the world.
Use as chemical weapon
3-Methylfentanyl was also reported by media as the identity of the anaesthetic “gas” Kolokol-1 delivered as an aerosolduring the Moscow theater hostage crisis in 2002 in which many hostages died from accidental overdoses, 3-methylfentanyl was later ruled out as the primary agent used. The opiate antidote naloxone was on-hand to treat the victims of the crisis, but, whether due to their incarceration or lack of food water and sleep, or due to the novel nature of the still-unconfirmed compound used, acute symptoms continued to develop, resulting in many fatalities despite the administration of naloxone.
Synthesis of 3-Methyl furanylfentanyl
A number of methods for synthesis have been published. The most recent is probably the method posted by the Serbian chemical society (2004).
There is another method, though, for constructing the N-Benzyl-3-methyl-4-piperidone in a 2-stage Michael reaction, followed by Dieckmann cyclization as per usual