|Summary sheet: A-PVP|
|Common names||α-PVP, alpha-PVP, Flakka, O-2387, β-ketone-prolintane, Prolintanone|
|Chemical class||Cathinone / Pyrrolidinophenone|
|Routes of Administration|
alpha-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone (also known as α-PVP, A-PVP, alpha-PVP, and flakka) is a novel stimulant substance of the cathinone class. α-PVP is chemically related to prolintane and belongs to a group called the substituted cathinones, which includes compounds like MDPV, hexen, and a-PHP. It acts as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
α-PVP was patented in the 1960s by Boehringer Ingelheim, although it was never marketed. Reports of its use began to appear in the early 2010s. α-PVP has been subject to much scrutiny by the media as one of the ingredients found in "bath salts" or "legal highs" products. It has been mass produced in China and sold online as a research chemical. It has been linked to numerous hospitalizations and overdose deaths.
User reports indicate that α-PVP produces powerful but short-lived stimulant effects comparable to those of methamphetamine and cocaine when insufflated or vaporized. Commonly reported effects include stimulation, disinhibition, increased libido, compulsive redosing, and euphoria. Like other synthetic cathinones, α-PVP is associated with compulsive use and addiction.
Very little data exists about the pharmacological properties, metabolism, and toxicity of a-PVP. Due to its potent psychostimulant effects and unknown toxicity profile, it is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using with this substance.
α-PVP, or alpha-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone, is a synthetic substance belonging to a group called the substituted cathinones. Substituted cathinones are derivatives of the naturally occurring substance cathinone, which is one of the psychoactive principles in khat (Catha edullis). Cathinone is composed of a phenethylamine core with an alkyl group attached to the alpha carbon, and a ketone group attached to the beta carbon. α-PVP's structure consists of a cathinone core with a propyl group substituted at the alpha carbon, and a pyrrolidine ring at the amino group.
The hydrochloride salt of α-PVP is described as a white or off-white, odourless crystalline powder, with a melting point of 161.3°C. It is reported to be soluble in PBS (~10mg/ml, pH7.2), in EtOH (~20mg/ml), in DMSO (~10mg/ml) and in DMF (~3mg/ml).
α-PVP is a potent and selective norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), with a similar potency to MDPV. α-PVP does not act as a transporter substrate, i.e. it does not cause neurotransmitter release. It is a more potent inhibitor of DAT and NET than the classical stimulants cocaine and amphetamine.
|Compound||DAT (nM)||NET (nM)||SERT (nM)||DAT/SERT ratio|
|a-PVP||12.8 ± 1.2||14.2 ± 1.2||>10,000||>781|
|MDPV||4.1 ± 0.6||25.9 ± 5.6||3305 ± 485||806|
|Cocaine||211 ± 19||292 ± 34||313 ± 17||1.5|
|Amphetamine||93 ± 17||67 ± 16||3418 ± 314||37|
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), a research literature based on anecdotal reports and the personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be regarded with a healthy degree of skepticism. It is worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce the full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely with higher doses and may include addiction, serious injury, or death.
- Stimulation - In terms of its effects on the user's physical energy levels, α-PVP can be considered to be extremely stimulating and energetic. This encourages activities such as running, climbing and dancing, although it can also encourage just sitting immobile engaged in repetitive tasks. The particular style of stimulation which α-PVP presents can be described as forced. This means that at higher dosages it becomes difficult or impossible to keep still as jaw clenching, involuntarily bodily shakes and vibrations become present, resulting in an extreme unsteadiness of the hands and a general loss of motor control.
- Spontaneous bodily sensations - The "body high" of α-PVP can be described as a moderate to extreme euphoric tingling sensation that encompasses the entire body. It is capable of becoming overwhelming at higher dosages. This sensation maintains a consistent presence that steadily rises with the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached.
- Tactile enhancement - α-PVP can enhance one's sense of touch to extreme degrees, often leading to states of sexual arousal.
- Vibrating vision - α-PVP can cause the eyeballs to spontaneously wiggle back and forth in a rapid motion, causing vision to become blurry and temporarily out of focus. This condition is known as nystagmus.
- Appetite suppression
- Abnormal heartbeat - Due to the potency of its rush, α-PVP can cause various uncomfortable or painful sensations in the heart, especially when abused or used for extended periods. Those with genetic a family history of heart issues are discouraged from using this drug in its most potent methods of administration, if not avoid it entirely.
- Increased blood pressure - α-PVP, especially when it is vaporized or injected, can lead to sudden spikes of blood pressure that may manifest in an extremely uncomfortable "exploding heart" sensation.
- Increased heart rate
- Dehydration - Dry mouth and dehydration are a universal experience with α-PVP and are a product of an increased heart rate, adrenergic activity and the motivation to engage in strenuous physical activities. While it is important to avoid becoming dehydrated, especially when out dancing in a hot environment, there is a potential possibility of suffering from water intoxication through over-drinking. Therefore it is advised that users simply sip at water and be mindful of their water in-take.
- Dry mouth
- Mouth numbing - In a similar fashion to that of cocaine, a-PVP numbs the areas of the body which it touches, these areas can include the nostrils, gums, mouth and urethra of the user.
- Increased perspiration
- Difficulty urinating - Higher doses of α-PVP result in an overall difficulty when it comes to urination, an effect that is temporary and typically harmless.
- Headaches - This typically can occur towards the end of the experience, but can sometimes happen during one as well.
- Muscle spasms
- Restless legs
- Vasoconstriction - α-PVP is reported to be very vasoconstricting at higher doses, and is on par with that of amphetamine and methamphetamine.
- Teeth grinding - This component can be considered to be less intense when compared with that of MDMA, though becomes more present at high doses.
- Seizure - α-PVP may lower the seizure threshold in some individuals, especially when it is abused.
- Brightness alteration - α-PVP can make spaces seem brighter due to its ability to dilate the pupils.
- Drifting - This effect is usually very mild and increases with sleep deprivation.
- Visual acuity suppression - α-PVP can have visual and vision-impairing effects that can lend readily to peripheral hallucinations.
The cognitive effects of α-PVP can be broken down into several components which progressively intensify proportional to dosage. The ample head space of α-PVP is described by many as one of extreme mental stimulation and a powerful rushing euphoria that dissipates quickly.
- Anxiety & Paranoia - α-PVP can lead to states of extreme paranoia when abused or dosed too highly, which is why eyeballing this substance is strongly discouraged. The paranoia this compound produces shares many features of the paranoia that can be induced by methamphetamine or cocaine, and typically happens while during the come down.
- Thought acceleration
- Cognitive euphoria - A euphoria very similar to amphetamine or cocaine is present as well as feelings of joy and happiness which are likely a direct result of marked norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibition.
- Immersion enhancement
- Focus enhancement - α-PVP has been noted as enhancing focus, but in a way that leaves the user totally fixated on whatever task at hand, however trivial.
- Ego inflation - Similar to the ego inflation of cocaine or methamphetamine, α-PVP can temporarily induce states of egomania at its peak.
- Increased libido - Like its predecessors MDPV and pentedrone, α-PVP can induce states of extreme sexual arousal due to its powerful disinhibiting effects
- Increased music appreciation
- Analysis enhancement - Users report that this effect typically only occurs at low doses, and becomes increasingly more impairing as one increases their intake.
- Motivation enhancement - This effect provides short-lived states of extreme motivation, but due to the cognitively narrowing aspects of its action, rarely ever translates into productive action.
- Compulsive redosing - A high tendency to compulsive redose is a hallmark of this class of drug.
- Feelings of impending doom - This typically is experienced when the substance is abused, but can happen at higher than needed doses, or the comedowns of binges. It can also happen spontaneously, although this tends to be rare.
- Time distortion - Strong feelings of time compression are common within α-PVP and increase in the perception of perceived experience is greatly increased
- Psychosis - This compound is known to readily induce psychosis if it is abused for prolonged periods of time.
- The effects which occur during the offset of a stimulant experience generally feel negative and uncomfortable in comparison to the effects which occurred during its peak. This is often referred to as a "comedown" and occurs because of neurotransmitter depletion. Its effects commonly include:
There are currently no anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index. Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
The toxicity and long-term health effects of recreational α-PVP use do not appear to have been studied in any scientific context and the exact toxic dosage is unknown. This is because α-PVP has very little history of human usage.
Anecdotal reports suggest that there do not seem to be any negative health effects attributed to simply trying this substance at low to moderate doses by itself and using it sparingly (but nothing can be guaranteed).
α-PVP has been reported to be the cause, or a significant contributory cause, of death in suicides and overdoses caused by combinations of drugs. α-PVP has also been linked to at least one death where it was combined with pentedrone and caused heart failure.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.
Tolerance and addiction potential
As with other stimulants, the chronic use of α-PVP can be considered highly addictive with a high potential for abuse and is capable of causing psychological dependence among certain users. When addiction has developed, cravings and withdrawal effects may occur if a person suddenly stops their usage.
Tolerance to many of the effects of α-PVP develops with prolonged and repeated use. This results in users having to administer increasingly large doses to achieve the same effects. After that, it takes about 3 - 7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 1 - 2 weeks to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). α-PVP produces cross-tolerance with all dopaminergic stimulants, meaning that after the consumption of α-PVP all stimulants will have a reduced effect.
α-PVP, like other stimulants, can result in a stimulant psychosis that may present with a variety of symptoms (e.g., paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions). A review on treatment for amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine abuse-induced psychosis states that about 5–15% of users fail to recover completely. The same review asserts that, based upon at least one trial, antipsychotic medications effectively resolve the symptoms of acute amphetamine psychosis.
Although many psychoactive substances are reasonably safe to use on their own, they can suddenly become dangerous or even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The following list includes some known dangerous combinations (although it is not guaranteed to include all of them). Independent research (e.g. Google, DuckDuckGo) should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some of the listed interactions have been sourced from TripSit.
- 25x-NBOMe & 25x-NBOH - Members of the 25x family are highly stimulating and physically straining. Combinations with stimulants should be avoided due to the risk of excessive stimulation. This can result in panic attacks, thought loops, seizures, increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, and heart failure in extreme cases.
- Alcohol - Alcohol can be dangerous to combine with stimulants due to the risk of accidental over-intoxication. Stimulants mask the sedative effects of alcohol, which is the main factor people use to assess their degree of intoxication. Once the stimulant wears off, the depressant effects of alcohol are left unopposed, which can result in blackouts and respiratory depression. If combined, one should strictly limit themselves to only drinking a certain amount of alcohol per hour.
- DXM - Combinations with DXM should be handled with extreme care due to DXM's effects on serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake. This can lead to panic attacks, hypertensive crisis, or serotonin syndrome with stimulants that increase levels of serotonin (MDMA, methylone, mephedrone, etc.). Monitor blood pressure carefully and avoid strenuous physical activity.
- MDMA - The neurotoxic effects of MDMA may be increased when combined with other stimulants. There is also a risk of excessive heart strain.
- MXE - Combinations with MXE may dangerously elevate blood pressure and increase the risk of psychosis.
- Stimulants - A-PVP can be potentially dangerous in combination with other stimulants like cocaine as they can increase one's heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels.
- Tramadol - Tramadol lowers the seizure threshold. Combinations with stimulants may further increase this risk.
Serotonin syndrome risk
In June 2016, the European Council decided that α-PVP shall be subjected by the Member States to control measures and criminal penalties by July 3, 2017.
- Australia: α-PVP made illegal in New South Wales after it was illegally marketed with the imprimatur of erroneous legal advice that it was not encompassed by analog provisions of the relevant act. It is encompassed by those provisions, and therefore has been illegal for many years in New South Wales. The legislative action followed the death of two individuals from using it.
- Austria: Since June 26, 2019, α-PVP is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG. (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich)
- Belgium: α-PVP is a controlled substance.
- Brazil: Possession, production and sale is illegal as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
- China: As of October 2015, α-PVP is a controlled substance in China.
- Cyprus: α-PVP is a controlled under the New Psychoactive Substances Legislation as of June 24, 2011.
- Czech Republic: α-PVP is a controlled substance.
- Estonia: α-PVP is listed in Regulation No. 73 as of June 2, 2014.
- Finland: α-PVP is listed in the Narcotics Act 373 as of December 30, 2013.
- France: α-PVP is a controlled substance as of August 2, 2012.
- Germany: α-PVP is controlled under Anlage II BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule II) as of July 17, 2013. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
- Greece: α-PVP is a controlled substance under law 3459/2006.
- Hungary: α-PVP is a Schedule A controlled substance.
- Ireland: α-PVP is a controlled substance as it is covered by the generic definition of controlled cathinones.
- Italy: α-PVP is a controlled substance as of December 29, 2011.
- Latvia: α-PVP is a controlled substance.
- Lithuania: α-PVP is a controlled substance since 2010.
- Norway: α-PVP is a controlled substance.
- Poland: α-PVP is a Schedule IV controlled substance as of July 1, 2015.
- Portugal: α-PVP is a controlled substance as of April 17, 2013.
- Romania: α-PVP is a controlled substance.
- Slovakia: α-PVP is a controlled substance as of October 1, 2013.
- Slovenia: α-PVP is a controlled substance since July 2014.
- Sweden: α-PVP is controlled under the Narcotic Drugs Control Act as of February 2013.
- Switzerland: α-PVP is a controlled substance specifically named under Verzeichnis D.
- Turkey: α-PVP is a controlled substance as of March 22, 2012.
- United Kingdom: α-PVP is a Class B drug in the United Kingdom as a result of the cathinone catch-all clause.
- United States: On January 28, 2014, the U.S. DEA listed α-PVP, along with 9 other synthetic cathinones, on the Schedule 1 with a temporary ban, effective February 27, 2014.
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- Suicide attempt with a mix of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones: Case report of non-fatal intoxication with AB-CHMINACA, AB-FUBINACA, alpha-PHP, alpha-PVP and 4-CMC (ScienceDirect) | http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0379073816000372
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