3-Methoxy-Phencyclidine Induced Psychotic Disorder: A Literature Review and an 18 F-FDG PET/CT Case Report

Maria Pepe, Marco Di Nicola, Fabrizio Cocciolillo, Stefania Chiappini, Giovanni Martinotti, Maria Lucia Calcagni, Gabriele Sani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are modifying the drug scenario worldwide and have become a public health concern because of their toxicological profiles and their harmful physical/psychological effects. 3-Methoxy-Phencyclidine (3-MeO-PCP), a non-competitive antagonist of glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, belongs to the phencyclidine-like subfamily of arylcyclohexylamines and has gained attention for its toxic, sometimes fatal, effects. Despite several cases of intoxication and death reported in the literature, little is known about substance-induced psychotic disorders (SIP) and potential cognitive impairment following 3-MeO-PCP intake. This literature review aimed to summarize available evidence about 3-MeO-PCP mechanisms of action and physical and psychotropic effects and to spread preliminary findings about persistent psychotic symptoms and impaired cognitive functioning. Additionally, the case of an SIP is reported in a 29-year-old man with small oral intakes of 3-MeO-PCP over two weeks until a high dose ingestion. Psychometric and neuropsychological assessment and brain [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography integrated with computed tomography were used to support clinical description. Identifying and addressing the characteristic clinical features and neural substrates of NPS-induced psychoses might help clinicians with a more precise differentiation from other psychotic disorders. Although further studies are required, phenotyping the cognitive profile of NPS users might provide targets for tailored therapeutic approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number452
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2024


  • 3-MeO-PCP
  • substance-induced psychosis
  • cognitive functioning
  • neuroimaging
  • NPS


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