Methylone is a designer drug that acts on the brain much like MDMA or ecstasy. The substance releases a flood of dopamine and serotonin to increase alertness, excitability, and physical energy. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), methylone may not have the same toxicity as the other amphetamine-based stimulants, meaning the drug may not have the same potential for addiction as MDMA.
Methylone is an empathogen and stimulant psychoactive drug. It is a member of the substituted amphetamine, substituted cathinone, and substituted methylenedioxyphenethylamine classes. Methylone is the substituted cathinone analog of MDMA and the 3,4-methylenedioxy analog of methcathinone.
Methylone ((3,4-methylenedioxy)methcathinone) is a synthetic cathinone. It is the beta-keto version of 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA). It was originally developed as a therapeutic for Parkinson’s disease or depression by Shulgin. Use of methylone was first reported around 2005. Use/abuse has been reported from Japan, the USA, and Europe. The effects and the mode of use reported have similarities with MDMA, but its potency is less.
This was based on a study involving rats that monitored the levels of neurotransmitters released by the brain over time. The study found that repeated, high doses of both methylone and mephedrone, another synthetic cathinone, did not deplete serotonin in the brain in the same way that MDMA did. However, the initial studies on similarities between methylone, MDMA, and mephedrone are small and do not involve humans, so understanding how addictive and toxic new chemicals like methylone are can take time.
Methylone ((3,4-methylenedioxy)methcathinone) is a ring-substituted beta-ketoamphetamine related to methcathinone and 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine
Methylone hydrochloride salt is a white or lightly coloured powder. The powder
is readily soluble in water.
Methylone Side Effects
The comedown effects from amphetamines, including MDMA or synthetic cathinones like methylone, include intense depression and fatigue. These symptoms may lead to taking more of the drug to relieve the psychological discomfort, although the previously mentioned study involving rats showed this may be less likely with methylone than ecstasy.
The toxic effects reported with methylone include moderate symptoms like:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Changes in consciousness, leading to difficulty understanding reality
- Pupil dilation, leading to blurry vision
- Trouble focusing
- Changes in perception of time
- Increase in body temperature
- Muscle tension and aches
- Grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw to the point of getting lockjaw