Clinical pharmacology of the synthetic cathinone mephedrone

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

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


© Springer International Publishing AG 2016. 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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)1866-3389
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2016


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


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