methylated amphetamines mda and mdma l.
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Methylated Amphetamines- MDA and MDMA. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, XTC)- MDA is a metabolite of MDMA and may be responsible for much of the MDMA effect. Synthesized in 1912 Structurally related to amphetamines Sympathomimetic W eak in altering perceptual functions

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Methylated Amphetamines- MDA and MDMA

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methylated amphetamines mda and mdma
Methylated Amphetamines-MDA and MDMA
  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, XTC)-MDA is a metabolite of MDMA and may be responsible for much of the MDMA effect.
  • Synthesized in 1912
  • Structurally related to amphetamines
    • Sympathomimetic
    • Weak in altering perceptual functions
    • But strong effects on emotions - empathogen
    • Used in combo with psychotherapy

Of interest:

ecstasy mdma physiological effects
Ecstasy (MDMA): Physiological Effects
  • Sympathomimetic
  • Bruxism & Trismus—teeth grinding & jaw clenching (pacifiers)
  • Dehydration/Overhydration
  • Hyperthermia
  • Tachycardia
ecstasy mdma psychological effects
Ecstasy (MDMA): Psychological Effects
  • Increased alertness, arousal, insomnia--stimulant effects
  • Euphoria, increased emotional warmth
  • Increased empathy and insight?
  • Hallucinogenic effects are largely absent
  • Patented by Merck in 1914
  • Advocated by some as adjunct to psychotherapy (1970s-80s)
  • A “Designer Drug”…Picked up the name “ecstasy” & became significant street drug (1980s)
  • Schedule I drug (1986- The Analogue drug Act)
  • Prototype “club drug” (1990s)

Monoamine neurotransmission

  • increase synaptic DA and 5-HT
  • blocks 5-HT transporter
  • enters neuron and causes release of 5-HT
ecstasy and brain damage preclinical research
Ecstasy and brain Damage?:Preclinical research
  • Serotonin depletion, damage to serotonergic neurons reported in several species including rats and primates (see Morton, 2005 for a review)
  • Effects were present in primate brain 7 years after MDMA exposure Hatzidimitrious et al., 1999)
mdma mda neurotoxicity
MDMA & MDA neurotoxicity

5-HT immunoreactive fibers in rat parietal cortex





are doses used in preclinical research too high
Are doses used in preclinical research too high?
  • neurotoxic doses in non-humans (5-20 mg/kg twice or more/day for several days) are generally higher than would be typical of human use.
  • However, people often take several tablets at a time or throughout a night’s binge and a tablet may contain up to 300 mg: 4-5 mg/kg in an average person.
x toxicity
X Toxicity
  • Malignant hyperthermia and dehydration
  • Idiopathic toxic response (not common but nasty)
    • Renal failure
    • Rhabdomyolysis – disintegration of muscle tissue
  • seizures, arrhythmias, heart failure, stroke,
  • Most MDMA-related fatalities have been attributed to symptoms of heat stroke and hyperthermia
residual long term adverse effects
Residual (long-term) adverse effects?
  • Topp et al. (1999) Australia study
  • Physical side effects
    • Loss of energy (65%), Muscular aches (60%)
    • Hot/cold flashes (48%), Numbness (47%)
    • Profuse sweating (43%), Tremors (42%)
  • Psychological side effects
    • Depression (56%), rritability (63%),
    • Sleep difficulty (56%), Confusion (47%)
    • Anxiety (45%), Paranoia (40%)
    • Memory deficits?
    • ( note issue of sample problems/poly-drug use etc..)
what is pma
What is PMA?
  • Paramethoxy-amphetamine
  • "Death" "Mitsubishi Double Stack"

"Killer" "Red Mitsubishi"

  • Substitute for MDMA
  • Cheaper to make
  • Slower, longer effects
  • More hallucinogenic
  • Incidence of toxic side effects much higher than MDMA (narrow safety margin)
myristin and elemicin
Myristin and Elemicin
  • Found in nutmeg and mace
  • Structurally similar to mescaline
  • Significant nausea and vomiting
  • The sickness usually limits use
glutamatergic psychedelics


AKA-Dissociative Anesthetics:

-Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel dust, Lovely)

-Ketamine (Special K)

  • PCP
  • Glutamate (NMDA) receptor antagonist
    • Blocks the function of glutamate
  • Used as an analgesic and anesthetic
  • Can be administered by any route
  • Oddly enough, animals self-administer (euphoria)
pcp physiological effects
PCP- physiological effects
  • numbness, loss of motor coordination, slurred speech, blurred vision, Nystagmus
  • Higher doses lead to:
  • hyper excitability or stupor
  • coma
  • seizures
  • death
  • A perfect example of a Schedule I drug
  • High rate of psychotic episodes some long-term
subjective effects of pcp ketamine
Subjective Effects of PCP/Ketamine
  • Sensations of light coming through the body and/or colorful visions
  • Complete loss of time sense
  • Bizarre distortions of body shape or size
  • Altered perception of body consistency
  • Sensations of floating or hovering in space
  • Feelings of leaving one’s body
  • Visions of spiritual or supernatural beings
  • Emotions ranging from euphoria to hositlity
  • true psychosis
    • Hallucinations, paranoia, agitation, dissociation

Dalgarno & Shewan (1996)

  • Special K
  • Very similar to PCP, not as powerful
  • Liquid, but can be powdered for snorting or smoking
  • Another perfect example of a Schedule I drug
  • Active ingredient in most OTC cough medicine
  • NMDA receptor blockade at high doses
  • Mostly teenage males abuse it
  • Like PCP and K at 20-30 X OTC dose
  • Coricidin –Bad news
anticholinergic hallucinogens
Anticholinergic hallucinogens
  • Atropine-Deadly nightshade, Datura, Jimson weed, and Mandrake, Atropa belladonna
  • Scopolamine-from Datura, Jimson weed, Mandrake and Henbane


Acetylcholine receptor (muscarinic) antagonists

Dissociatives that induces delirium , hallucinations, and amnesia

Classic anti-cholinergic symptoms

Hot as hell

Dry as a bone

Mad as a hatter

Blind as a bat

Red as a beet

Used in the treatment of motion sickness & to dilate pupils during eye-exams.

anticholinergic effects
Anticholinergic effects
  • Dry mouth, blurred vision, loss of motor control
  • Dream-like trance state
  • Little or no memory of experience
muscarine muscimol
  • Found in mushrooms (Amanita Muscaria)
  • Muscimol is a GABAA agonist
    • Trance-like, dreamy state with dreamlike illusions
    • Like Ambien
  • Muscarine is an Acetylcholine agonist (muscarinic receptors)
    • Not psychotropic
    • Peripheral effects: sweating, limb twitching, seizure activity
salvia divinorum
Salvia Divinorum
  • Plant used by the Mazatec people of Southern Mexico: Diviner’s sage—leaves chewed or smoked
  • Active substance = salvinorum A (affects Kappa receptors)--most potent natural hallucinogen (100 microgram ED50)

Salvia Divinorum

Brief (30-60 min) intense trip: visual hallucinations, dissociative state, some bad trips, recent highly publicized suicide

Marketed legally in US (in most states) as herbal dietary supplement—currently under DEA review