THE collapse of two casualties in Bournemouth town centre at the weekend has sparked fears that dealers are selling strong pills to clubbers.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the casualties were treated for serious side effects after taking 'blue punisher' pills in separate incidents.

The first fell ill on Friday night. The second collapsed on Saturday.

Blue punisher drugs tend to be MDMA-based with a trace of another synthetic stimulant. Police are carrying out tests to determine the chemical make-up of the pills taken in Bournemouth.

Councillor David Smith urged anyone with information to tell police.

"Clearly, there is a drug pusher, or a team of dealers, operating in the area and selling this specific drug," he said.

"I'd always encourage people not to take any illegal substances. Often, you won't know what you're taking.

"I'd also ask for anyone who knows something about this to call police.

"If you see these pills on a night out, tell security staff about it straight away."

Chemists who test the composition of class As say blue punisher pills may be "high dosage" and should be "consumed with consideration".

The pill causes dehydration, increased heart rate and loss of appetite, as well a feeling of euphoria.

After effects include anxiety, depression or irritability.

However, much is still unknown about its impact.

Police say they were contacted by South Western Ambulance Service after the casualties fell ill.

Both later confirmed they had taken the pill.

One of the people treated by the ambulance service was suffering from convulsions and experiencing psychosis and the other was said to be "very ill and vomiting". Both were taken to hospital for treatment.

Their condition is unknown.

Detective Inspector Scott Johnson, of Bournemouth CID, said: “We would strongly advise people thinking of taking substances such as this to think again and want to make them aware of this particular batch of drugs.

“You can never be sure what you are taking when you use illegal substances and the side-effects are unpredictable and potentially life-threatening."

In a report commissioned by charity DrugWise, it was warned that MDMA is increasingly of high purity. The size of pills is also increasing, leading to some users taking heavier doses then they realise.

In the 1990s, the average dose was around 50 to 80 micrograms. It is now routinely in excess of 150mg, and sometimes as high as 300mg, the charity says.