Superman ecstasy
At least three deaths are being linked to a potentially lethal batch of an ecstasy with a Superman logoSuffolk Police

Suffolk Police are linking a batch of dangerous pills – so far believed to be linked to four deaths – with dangerous pills of similar appearance found in the Netherlands last month. The Netherlands pills contained substantial amounts of PMMA, a stimulant and psychedelic drug of the

The Netherlands pills contained substantial amounts of PMMA (para-methoxymethamphetamine), a stimulant and psychedelic drug of the methamphetamine family. PMMA is believed to be more slow acting than MDMA (or ecstasy). As a result, users can consume additional pills because they suspect they are not working.

PMMA has previously been linked to deaths in Norway and Netherlands. Little is known about its toxicity and effects, but it is similar to another designer drug PMA, which is known to cause irregular heartbeats, vomiting, severe hyperthermia and hallucinations in cases of overdoses. However, doctors warn that PMA is substantially more dangerous when it is mixed with MDMA, the key chemical ingredient in Ecstasy tablets.

The danger of PMMA pills is believed to be more slow-acting than MDMA. As a result users may tend to take more PMMA pills, because they think they are not working, increasing the risk of overdosing.

Three men have been arrested during investigations into the current suspected drug-related deaths in Suffolk. Police have detained the men on suspicion of supplying drugs. This follows the deaths of two young men in Ipswich on Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, believed to be related to a "dangerous batch" of

The arrests follow the deaths of two young men in Ipswich on Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, believed to be related to a "dangerous batch" of ecstasy pills. The death of a third man in Rendlesham, Suffolk is also under investigation. The death of a 27-year-old man on New Year's Day in Telford, Shropshire, is also being connected to the batch of drugs.

The dangerous pills are described as red and triangular with a Superman 'S' logo. One of the men believed to have died after taking the pills has been named as 20-year-old labourer John Hocking. Another is believed to be a Lithuanian, Gediminas

One of the men believed to have died after taking the pills has been named as 20-year-old labourer John Hocking. Another is believed to be a Lithuanian, Gediminas Kulokasm who died on his 24th birthday: New Year's Day. Another man at

Another man at Kulokas's address, also believed to be from Lithuania remains hospitalised in a serious condition but is said to be improving.

The third Ipswich fatality was Justas Ropas, a 22-year-old machine operator. He died on Christmas Eve.

Suffolk police are appealing for people to hand in the deadly pills at a police stations, A&E department or fire stations. They say that they merely wish to remove the drugs from circulation and promise that individuals surrendering the drugs will not be prosecuted.