University of Hertfordshire

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Methoxetamine: An Analogue of Ketamine

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

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Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages2
Pages (from-to)283-284
JournalCurrent Drug Abuse Reviews
Journal publication dateDec 2013
Volume6
Issue4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
EventSecond International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) - Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sep 201313 Sep 2013

Abstract

Introduction: Methoxetamine acts similarly to a non-competitive antagonist at the N-methyl-aspartate receptor and a Dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Its behavioural effects resemble those induced by dissociative anesthetics, including: euphoria, empathy, dissociation from the physical body and hallucinations. Adverse side effects include confusion, psychomotor agitation, and cognitive impairment. Although methoxetamine has been banned since April 2012, its misuse appears to be increasing. Several cases of acute toxicity reported hyper activation symptoms.
Methods: A systematic review based on PubMed and Medline literature was conducted. Data analysed were sourced from np-SAD, which collects notifications of drug-related deaths occurring in the UK and Islands. It provides high quality and consistent surveillance of drug-related deaths since 1997. A search of the entire np-SAD database for deaths involving methoxetamine was performed.
Results: Between 2011-2012 methoxetamine was reported to be involved in the deaths of six individuals: five males and one female with a median age of 32 years. Methoxetamine was the sole drug implicated in two cases, whilst in three it was found in combination with other drugs. In one case it was found at post-mortem but was not implicated in the death.
Conclusions: This poster represents the largest known case series of methoxetamine fatalities in the UK. Among all novel psychoactive substances, methoxetamine appears to be a protagonist of the recreational drug scene in the UK. Considering its increasing abuse and limited scientific studies, the next step should be to investigate its toxicity, abuse liability and long term risks.

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