August 24, 2023

Captagon®, the trade name for fenethylline, an amphetamine prodrug, was originally developed by a German company in 1961 as a psychostimulant and eventually used in the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder. Because of its side effects, fenethylline became a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States in 1981, was scheduled internationally in 1986, and its licit manufacture ceased. Most of the remaining stock of Captagon® was destroyed, but some was exported to the Middle East, where it became popular as an illicit stimulant. Once the original supply ran out and fenethylline was no longer available, counterfeit captagon tablets bearing the same monogramming of two offset stylized “C’s” (photo), but containing amphetamine in place of fenethylline began to appear. Today, these tablets also contain a variety of adulterants as discussed below. Counterfeit captagon tablets containing amphetamine are now the major drug used illicitly in the Middle East, where they are predominantly manufactured, although their distribution has now spread to parts of Europe. Although there is illicit demand for amphetamine-type substances (ATS) in the US, as of August 2023, there is no evidence of widespread presence of counterfeit amphetamine-containing captagon tablets in the US. CFSRE and the Colombo Plan encourage vigilance for the emergence of these characteristic counterfeit dosage forms in the US drug supply and would encourage any investigators or laboratories who encounter them to notify us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..