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]
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).