α-PVP, like other psychostimulants, can cause hyperstimulation, paranoia, and hallucinations. α-PVP has been reported to be the cause, or a significant contributory cause of death in suicides and overdoses caused by combinations of drugs. α-PVP has also been linked to at least one death with pulmonary edema and moderately advanced atherosclerotic coronary disease when it was combined with pentedrone.
α-PVP may be quantified in blood, plasma or urine by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients or to provide evidence in a medicolegal death investigation. Blood or plasma α-PVP concentrations are expected to be in a range of 10–50 μg/L in persons using the drug recreationally, >100 μg/L in intoxicated patients and >300 μg/L in victims of acute overdosage.
In Australia Alpha-PVP is a Schedule 9 prohibited substance under the Poisons Standard (July 2016). A Schedule 9 substance is a substance which may be abused or misused, the manufacture, possession, sale or use of which should be prohibited by law except when required for medical or scientific research, or for analytical, teaching or training purposes with approval of Commonwealth and/or State or Territory Health Authorities. The drug was explicitly made illegal in New South Wales after it was illegally marketed with the imprimatur of erroneous legal advice that it was not encompassed by analog provisions of the relevant act. It is encompassed by those provisions, and therefore has been illegal for many years in New South Wales. The legislative action followed the death of two individuals from using it; one jumping off a balcony, another having a heart attack after a state of delirium.
α-PVP is banned in Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Turkey, Norway, as well as the Czech Republic.
α-PVP is sometimes the active ingredient in recreational drugs sold as "bath salts". It may also be distinguished from "bath salts" and sold under a different name: "flakka", a name used in Florida, or "gravel" in other parts of the U.S. It is reportedly available as cheaply as US$5 per dose. A laboratory for one county in Florida reported a steady rise in α-PVP detections in seized drugs from none in January–February 2014 to 84 in September 2014.
^Sauer C, Peters FT, Haas C, Meyer MR, Fritschi G, Maurer HH (June 2009). "New designer drug alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (PVP): studies on its metabolism and toxicological detection in rat urine using gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric techniques". Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 44 (6): 952–64. Bibcode:2009JMSp...44..952S. doi:10.1002/jms.1571. PMID19241365.
^Marinetti LJ, Antonides HM (April 2013). "Analysis of synthetic cathinones commonly found in bath salts in human performance and postmortem toxicology: method development, drug distribution and interpretation of results". Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 37 (3): 135–46. doi:10.1093/jat/bks136. PMID23361867.
^Klavž J, Gorenjak M, Marinšek M (August 2016). "Suicide attempt with a mix of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones: Case report of non-fatal intoxication with AB-CHMINACA, AB-FUBINACA, alpha-PHP, alpha-PVP and 4-CMC". Forensic Science International. 265: 121–4. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2016.01.018. PMID26890319.
^Sykutera M, Cychowska M, Bloch-Boguslawska E (May 2015). "A Fatal Case of Pentedrone and α-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone Poisoning". Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 39 (4): 324–9. doi:10.1093/jat/bkv011. PMID25737339.
^Eiden C, Mathieu O, Cathala P, Debruyne D, Baccino E, Petit P, Peyriere H (November 2013). "Toxicity and death following recreational use of 2-pyrrolidino valerophenone". Clinical Toxicology. 51 (9): 899–903. doi:10.3109/15563650.2013.847187. PMID24111554.
^Baselt RC (2014). Disposition of toxic drugs and chemicals in man. Seal Beach, Ca.: Biomedical Publications. p. 1751. ISBN978-0-9626523-9-4.