MDPV can give a false positive test for phencyclidine (PCP)

January 16, 2013, 10:33 pm


Psychoactive “bath salts”: Not so soothing. Baumann MH et al. Eur J Pharmacol 2013;698:1-5.


This article, from the Medicinal Chemistry Section of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is an up-to-date review of certain aspects of “bath salts”, specifically the synthetic cathinones: MDPV, mephredrone, and methylone. Although much of the material the authors cover is well known and has been discussed here before, the following are some take-home points I was glad to be reminded of, or didn’t known the first place:

  • MDPV, a potent uptake blocker of at the dopamine and norepinephrine receptors, with little effect on the serotonin receptor.
  • The effect of synthetic cathinones on dopamine suggests high abuse potential.
  • Recent evidence shows that MDPV can give a false positive test for phencyclidine (PCP).

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Review of synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts

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Toxicology of Synthetic Cathinones

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Baths salts: calls to poison centers in Louisiana and Kentucky

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Dr. Oz on bath salts (MDPV)

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