Clinical Pharmacology of the Synthetic Cathinone Mephedrone

  • Esther Papaseit
  • José Moltó
  • Robert Muga
  • Marta Torrens
  • Rafael de la Torre
  • Magí Farré
Chapter

Abstract

4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone) is a popular new psychoactive substance (NPS) that is structurally related to the parent compound cathinone, the β-keto analogue of amphetamine. Mephedrone appeared on the street drug market as a substitute for 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) and was subsequently banned due to the potential health risks associated with its use. Nevertheless, mephedrone continues to be widely consumed among specific populations, with unique patterns of misuse. To date, most information about the biological effects of mephedrone comes from user experiences, epidemiological data, clinical cases, toxicological findings, and animal studies, whilst there are very few data regarding its human pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. This chapter reviews the available published data on patterns of mephedrone use, its acute and chronic effects, and its pharmacokinetic properties. More human research is needed to elucidate the safety, toxicity, and addiction potential of mephedrone and related NPS.

Keywords

3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA ecstasy) 4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone (4-MMC mephedrone) New psychoactive substance (NSP) Synthetic cathinones 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esther Papaseit
    • 1
    • 2
  • José Moltó
    • 1
    • 3
  • Robert Muga
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marta Torrens
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • Rafael de la Torre
    • 4
    • 6
  • Magí Farré
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP)BadalonaSpain
  2. 2.Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)Cerdanyola del VallésSpain
  3. 3.Fundació Lluita contra la SidaBadalonaSpain
  4. 4.IMIM-Hospital del Mar Medical Research InstituteBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Institut de Neuropsiquiatria i AdiccionsBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)BarcelonaSpain

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