Physical properties of mephedrone
The base is a yellowish liquid at ambient temperature. The mephedrone hydrochloride salt is a white or light-colored powder. 4-Methylmethcathinone (also known as 4-MMC, M-CAT, drone, meow meow, and mephedrone) is an entactogen-stimulant substance of the cathinone class.
Mephedrone belongs to a group known as the substituted cathinone, which are derivatives of the active ingredient in the khat plant (Catha edulluis).
Mephedrone was first synthesized in 1929 but did not become widely known until it was rediscovered in 2003.
By 2007, it was reported to be available for sale on the internet.
Also, by 2008 law enforcement agencies had become aware of the compound.
Furthermore, by 2010 it had been reported in most of Europe, becoming particularly prevalent in the United Kingdom.
It comes in the form of tablets or a powder, which users can swallow, snort, inject, or insert rectally.
It produces effects that are somewhat similar to those of MDMA, amphetamine, and cocaine.
It is reported to produce a mixture of classic stimulant and entactogenic effects reminiscent of cocaine and MDMA.
Pharmacology of Mephedrone
Given its chemical structure, mephedrone is likely to act as a releasing agent and a reuptake inhibitor for monoamine neurotransmitters.
Such monoamine neurotransmitters are dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline.
Several articles published near the end of 2011 examined the effects of mephedrone in the brains of rats.
Dopamine and serotonin were collected using microdialysis, and increases in dopamine and serotonin were measured.
Mephedrone administration caused about a 500% increase in dopamine, and about a 950% increase in serotonin. They reached their peak concentrations at 40 minutes and 20 minutes and returned to baseline by 120 minutes after injection.
Analysis of the ratio for dopamine and serotonin indicated mephedrone was preferentially a serotonin releaser. Additionally, half-lives for the decrease in dopamine and serotonin were found to have decay rates of 24.5 minutes and 25.5 minutes.