TFMPP is a man-made (synthetic) drug that is often taken with BZP. Together these drugs produce similar effects to MDMA. TFMPP, full name 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine, is rarely taken on its own, but is more commonly mixed with such substances as BZP and pressed into pill form. The mixture is made to try and mimic the effects of MDMA, where TFMPP is meant to reproduce the psychedelic effects of MDMA, and BZP the euphoric effects. The BZP/TFMPP mixture can be found on its own or in ecstasy pills [1].

What does it look like?

White pills (occasionally various colours) [1].

Why take it?

Sought after effects

  • mildly hallucinogenic - i.e. changes the way your brain sees things (when used alone at higher doses),
  • in combination with BZP, similar to MDMA (ecstasy) [1].

Undesired effects

  • migraines,
  • muscle pain,
  • nausea,
  • insomnia [1].


TFMPP interacts with the serotonergic system through 5-ht type 1 and type 2 receptors. It is considered 3 times less potent than MDMA at increasing serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake.

BZP + TFMPP - these two substances seem to work synergistically in the central nervous system. Even at low doses, they increase levels of serotonin and dopamine parallel to each other mimicking the effects seen in MDMA. Some studies have even shown that at higher doses of both drugs, a greater level of dopamine is produced than the drug on its own [1].

How is it taken?

Orally (swallowed) [1].

Harm reduction

  • You should avoid using this substance if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, epilepsy (or family history of epilepsy), diabetes or liver problems. Take advice if you are unsure.
  • Taking BZP-type pills and dancing in hot clubs can cause dehydration and overheating. Non-alcoholic drinks such as water or isotonic drinks help to prevent this. However, it can be dangerous to drink too much fluid. It is therefore advisable to sip one pint of non-alcoholic liquid (not more) per hour.
  • Regular rests from dancing will also reduce the risks of dehydration and overheating.
  • People using BZP-type pills in clubs or at dance events should ensure that they will be looked after in the event of an emergency. It is advisable to go to events that adhere to a safer dancing code of conduct, including adequate ventilation, rest areas, freely available water and staff who are trained to deal with emergencies.
  • It is advisable that only half a pill (if in pill form) is taken first in order to try and determine the potency. Wait for up to 2 hours before re-dosing. If in a powdered form, again only take very little and wait at least 2 hours before considering re-dosing [1].


TFMPP is likely to have been developed in New Zealand (where the laws surrounding research chemicals have been less stringent than elsewhere) in synchronicity with BZP, as the two are almost always found together when sold in their own right (i.e. not as Ecstasy). Whilst it has been linked to a number of fatalities in association with BZP, there are no documented cases of it being toxic in its own right [1].