Bath-salt constituent MDPV more like methamphetamine than ecstasy

January 19, 2013, 2:15 pm


Powerful Cocaine-Like Actions of MDPV, a Principal Constituent of Psychoactive ‘Bath Salts’ Products. Baumann MH et al. Neuropsycho- pharmacology 2012 Oct 17. doi: 10.1038/npp.2012.204. [Epub ahead of print]


This article, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is complementary to another similar article we recently reviewed, and by some of the same authors.

Even though the paper gets super-granular about molecular mechanisms and contains more than most people want to know about how bath salt components — the synthetic cathinones MDPV, methylone, and mephedreone — act at the cellular level, there are some important points to be gleaned from among the weeds:

  • MDPV is the most prevalent synthetic cathinone identified in ER admissions because of bath salt exposure.
  • MDPV is a powerful blocker of dopamine and norepinephrine re-uptake, with only weak action on serotonin and no  effect on releasing neurotransmitters.
  • Methylone and mephedrone promote increased release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
  • Drugs that increase release of neurotransmitters, unlike those that purely block re-uptake, can cause depletion and wash-out.
  • Recent experiments in rats have found that MDPV produces results on behavior similar to those of methamphetamine, while mephedrone is more similar to MDMA (ecstasy).

Related posts:

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

Vivid Navy video depicts horrors of bath salts

Death from methylone ingestion

Agitation and hallucinations from bath salts containing MDPV and flephedrone

Bath Salts (MDPV): another possible cause of serotonin syndrome

Review of synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts

Comprehensive review of bath salts

Multiorgan failure after injection of “bath salts” (MDPV)

Comprehensive review of new designer drugs

Death from MDPV-associated excited delirium

Bath salts and necrotizing fasciitis: a case report

All bath salts are not mephedrone 

“Legal Highs”: new psychoactive drugs

Toxicology of Synthetic Cathinones

The science of designer drugs: essential review

Baths salts: calls to poison centers in Louisiana and Kentucky

New York Times on bath salts

NBC’s Dateline goes undercover to investigate the “bath salt” industry

“Bath salts” in Michigan

Dr. Oz on bath salts (MDPV)

NBC’s Today show reports on “bath salts” (MDPV)



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