Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone; 'Meow meow'): Chemical, pharmacological and clinical issues

Fabrizio Schifano, Antonio Albanese, Suzanne Fergus, Jackie L. Stair, Paolo Deluca, Ornella Corazza, Zoe Davey, John Corkery, Holger Siemann, Norbert Scherbaum, Magi' Farre', Marta Torrens, Z. Demetrovics, A. Hamid Ghodse, Lucia Di Furia, Liv Flesland, Miia Mannonen, Aino Majava, Stefania Pagani, Teuvo PeltoniemiManuela Pasinetti, Cinzia Pezzolesi, Arvid Skutle, Peer Van Der Kreeft, Aurora Enea, Giuditta Di Melchiorre, Harry Shapiro, Elias Sferrazza, Colin Drummond, Agnieszka Pisarska, Barbara Mervo, Jacek Moskalewicz, Luciano Floridi, Lill Susann Ynnesdal Haugen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

223 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Recently, those substances deriving from the active ingredient of the Khat plant, cathinone, have been rising in popularity. Indeed, 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone; 'meow meow' and others) has been seen by some as a cheaper alternative to other classified recreational drugs. Aims: We aimed here at providing a state-of-the-art review on mephedrone history and prevalence of misuse, chemistry, pharmacology, legal status, product market appearance, clinical/management and related fatalities. Methods: Because of the limited evidence, some of the information here presented has been obtained from user reports/drug user-orientated web sites. The most common routes for mephedrone recreational use include insufflation and oral ingestion. It elicits stimulant and empathogenic effects similar to amphetamine, methylamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA. Due to its sympathomimetic actions, mephedrone may be associated with a number of both physical and psychopathological side effects. Recent preliminary analysis of recent UK data carried out in 48 related cases have provided positive results for the presence of mephedrone at postmortem. Discussion and Conclusions: Within the UK, diffusion of mephedrone may have been associated with an unprecedented combination of a particularly aggressive online marketing policy and a decreasing availability/purity of both ecstasy and cocaine. Mephedrone has been recently classified in both the UK and in a number of other countries as a measure to control its availability. Following this, a few other research psychoactives have recently entered the online market as yet unregulated substances that may substitute for mephedrone. Only international collaborative efforts may be able to tackle the phenomenon of the regular offer of novel psychoactive drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-602
Number of pages10
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume214
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

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Pharmacology
Cocaine
Catha
mephedrone
N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine
Insufflation
Sympathomimetics
Methamphetamine
Psychotropic Drugs
Street Drugs
Jurisprudence
Amphetamine
Drug Users
Marketing
Eating
History
Research

Keywords

  • Cathinones
  • Drug misuse
  • Drug-related deaths
  • Meow meow
  • Mephedrone
  • Psychoactive drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Schifano, F., Albanese, A., Fergus, S., Stair, J. L., Deluca, P., Corazza, O., ... Haugen, L. S. Y. (2011). Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone; 'Meow meow'): Chemical, pharmacological and clinical issues. Psychopharmacology, 214(3), 593-602. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-010-2070-x

Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone; 'Meow meow') : Chemical, pharmacological and clinical issues. / Schifano, Fabrizio; Albanese, Antonio; Fergus, Suzanne; Stair, Jackie L.; Deluca, Paolo; Corazza, Ornella; Davey, Zoe; Corkery, John; Siemann, Holger; Scherbaum, Norbert; Farre', Magi'; Torrens, Marta; Demetrovics, Z.; Ghodse, A. Hamid; Di Furia, Lucia; Flesland, Liv; Mannonen, Miia; Majava, Aino; Pagani, Stefania; Peltoniemi, Teuvo; Pasinetti, Manuela; Pezzolesi, Cinzia; Skutle, Arvid; Van Der Kreeft, Peer; Enea, Aurora; Di Melchiorre, Giuditta; Shapiro, Harry; Sferrazza, Elias; Drummond, Colin; Pisarska, Agnieszka; Mervo, Barbara; Moskalewicz, Jacek; Floridi, Luciano; Haugen, Lill Susann Ynnesdal.

In: Psychopharmacology, Vol. 214, No. 3, 04.2011, p. 593-602.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schifano, F, Albanese, A, Fergus, S, Stair, JL, Deluca, P, Corazza, O, Davey, Z, Corkery, J, Siemann, H, Scherbaum, N, Farre', M, Torrens, M, Demetrovics, Z, Ghodse, AH, Di Furia, L, Flesland, L, Mannonen, M, Majava, A, Pagani, S, Peltoniemi, T, Pasinetti, M, Pezzolesi, C, Skutle, A, Van Der Kreeft, P, Enea, A, Di Melchiorre, G, Shapiro, H, Sferrazza, E, Drummond, C, Pisarska, A, Mervo, B, Moskalewicz, J, Floridi, L & Haugen, LSY 2011, 'Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone; 'Meow meow'): Chemical, pharmacological and clinical issues', Psychopharmacology, vol. 214, no. 3, pp. 593-602. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-010-2070-x
Schifano, Fabrizio ; Albanese, Antonio ; Fergus, Suzanne ; Stair, Jackie L. ; Deluca, Paolo ; Corazza, Ornella ; Davey, Zoe ; Corkery, John ; Siemann, Holger ; Scherbaum, Norbert ; Farre', Magi' ; Torrens, Marta ; Demetrovics, Z. ; Ghodse, A. Hamid ; Di Furia, Lucia ; Flesland, Liv ; Mannonen, Miia ; Majava, Aino ; Pagani, Stefania ; Peltoniemi, Teuvo ; Pasinetti, Manuela ; Pezzolesi, Cinzia ; Skutle, Arvid ; Van Der Kreeft, Peer ; Enea, Aurora ; Di Melchiorre, Giuditta ; Shapiro, Harry ; Sferrazza, Elias ; Drummond, Colin ; Pisarska, Agnieszka ; Mervo, Barbara ; Moskalewicz, Jacek ; Floridi, Luciano ; Haugen, Lill Susann Ynnesdal. / Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone; 'Meow meow') : Chemical, pharmacological and clinical issues. In: Psychopharmacology. 2011 ; Vol. 214, No. 3. pp. 593-602.
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T2 - Chemical, pharmacological and clinical issues

AU - Schifano, Fabrizio

AU - Albanese, Antonio

AU - Fergus, Suzanne

AU - Stair, Jackie L.

AU - Deluca, Paolo

AU - Corazza, Ornella

AU - Davey, Zoe

AU - Corkery, John

AU - Siemann, Holger

AU - Scherbaum, Norbert

AU - Farre', Magi'

AU - Torrens, Marta

AU - Demetrovics, Z.

AU - Ghodse, A. Hamid

AU - Di Furia, Lucia

AU - Flesland, Liv

AU - Mannonen, Miia

AU - Majava, Aino

AU - Pagani, Stefania

AU - Peltoniemi, Teuvo

AU - Pasinetti, Manuela

AU - Pezzolesi, Cinzia

AU - Skutle, Arvid

AU - Van Der Kreeft, Peer

AU - Enea, Aurora

AU - Di Melchiorre, Giuditta

AU - Shapiro, Harry

AU - Sferrazza, Elias

AU - Drummond, Colin

AU - Pisarska, Agnieszka

AU - Mervo, Barbara

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AU - Floridi, Luciano

AU - Haugen, Lill Susann Ynnesdal

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