Cathinone Neurotoxicity (“The “3Ms”)
Steven B. Karch.
Synthetic cathinones are designer drugs of the phenethylamine class, structurally and
pharmacologically similar to amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA),
cathinone and other related substances. New analogues, legal at least, until formally banned (a time
consuming process), are introduced almost daily The United Nations estimates nearly 250 new drug
analogues are produced per year. Various combinations of these drugs are sold under the name of
“bath salts.” They can be ingested by any route and some appear capable of causing great harm,
mostly behavioral. One drug in particular, MDVP, appears to frequently cause symptoms
indistinguishable from the classic findings in Excited Delirium Syndrome (ExDS). Little is known
about the pathology or clinical toxicology of these drugs but their molecular mechanism of action seems to be identical
with that of cocaine. This mini-review examines what little is known on the subject and explains the suspected
mechanisms of excited delirium syndrome.
Keywords: “Bath salts”, cathinones, methedrone, methelone, MDMA, MDVP.
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