Home > 2,4-Dinitrophenol, the inferno drug: a netnographic study of user experiences in the quest for leanness.

McVeigh, Jim and Germain, Jennifer and Van Hout, Marie Claire (2017) 2,4-Dinitrophenol, the inferno drug: a netnographic study of user experiences in the quest for leanness. Journal of Substance Use, 22, (2), pp. 131-138. DOI: 10.3109/14659891.2016.1149238.

Background: Despite not being licensed for human consumption, the Internet has triggered renewed, widespread interest and availability of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP). DNP, a cellular metabolic poison, causes thermogenesis resulting in fat burning and weight loss. Whilst extensively available for purchase online, research on user experiences of DNP is limited.

Methods: A netnographic approach was used to describe user experiences of DNP via online public websites. Public websites discussing DNP were identified and a purposeful sample selected. Discussion threads were downloaded and a textual qualitative analysis conducted. Four themes containing 71 categories were generated.

Results: There exists a plethora of communal folk pharmacological advice and recommendations for DNP manufacture and use, together with associated harms and outcomes. The efficacy and untoward effects of DNP were described and discussed alongside the notion that DNP should only be used by experienced bodybuilders. Dosage and regimes for optimal use were also described.

Conclusion: This unique study provides a rich examination of the knowledge, attitudes, and motivations of DNP users, illustrating the significant role of online public websites in sharing information. Further understanding of DNP users and the online communities in which they reside is warranted to facilitate engagement and formulate appropriate and effective policy responses.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Article
Drug Type
New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
Identification #
DOI: 10.3109/14659891.2016.1149238
Page Range
pp. 131-138
Informa healthcare
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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