Due to its unusually long duration, extreme potency, and compulsive nature, it is strongly discouraged to abuse this substance in high doses, multiple days in a row, or in combination with other drugs known to increase the risk of psychosis. Please see this section for more details.
|Summary sheet: MDPV|
|Common names||MDPV, Bath Salts, NRG-1|
|Psychoactive class||Stimulant / Entactogen|
|Chemical class||Cathinone / MDxx / Pyrrolidinophenone|
|Routes of Administration|
3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (also known as MDPV and imprecisely as Bath Salts, among many others) is a novel lesser-known stimulant substance of the cathinone and pyrrolidine classes. It is known to be one of the most powerful and potent stimulants. MDPV is thought to act primarily as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI).
MDPV was first developed in the 1960s by a team at Boehringer Ingelheim. It was claimed to have potential to be an alternative for racemic amphetamine and, despite showing some desirable qualities such as reduced toxicity as compared to amphetamine, was chosen to not be developed as a medicinal drug.
MDPV remained an obscure stimulant until around 2004, when it was reportedly first made available to the public as a designer drug. Products labeled as "bath salts" containing MDPV were previously sold as recreational drugs in gas stations and convenience stores in the United States, similar to the marketing strategy of Spice and K2 as incense.
Several incidents of psychological and physical harm have been attributed to the use of MDPV, including an unusually large number of fatalities. A total of 107 non-fatal intoxications and 99 analytically confirmed deaths related to MDPV between September 2009 and August 2013 were reported by nine European countries.
It is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using this substance.
MDPV, or 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, is a synthetic stimulant of the cathinone and pyrrolidine classes. MDPV is the 3,4-methylenedioxy ring-substituted analog of the compound a-PVP, developed in the 1960s, which has been used for the treatment of chronic fatigue and as an anorectic, but caused problems of abuse and dependence.
However, despite some shared structural features, the effects of MDPV bear little resemblance to other methylenedioxy phenylalkylamine derivatives such as 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), instead producing primarily classical stimulant effects with only mild entactogenic qualities.
MDPV is structurally related to cathinone, an active alkaloid found in the khat plant, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methamphetamine, and other schedule I phenethylamines. MDPV, like some other substances in this class, is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. MDPV is also reported to have hallucinogenic effects.
MDPV is thought to act primarily as a potent norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Reduced re-uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine results in higher concentrations of the two catecholamine neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft, or gap between neurons.
The result of this inhibition is an enhanced and prolonged concentration and resulting post-synaptic effect of dopaminergic and noradrenaline signaling at dopamine and norepinephrine receptors on the receiving neuron. Serotonin also plays a role, although to a much lesser degree. This sudden increase in neurotransmitter concentration in the brain is thought to be responsible for the high that MDPV produces.
Mainly possessing re-uptake inhibiting qualities and not releasing qualities, MDPV could be considered more like cocaine or methylphenidate than amphetamine in method of action. In contrast, amphetamine acts primarily as an agonist to release dopamine and noradrenaline indirectly via activation of the TAAR1 receptor.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), an open research literature based on anecdotal user reports and the personal analyses of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.
It is also 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 increasingly likely with higher doses and may include addiction, severe injury, or death ☠.
- Stamina enhancement
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Increased heart rate - Higher doses of MDPV can create a significant and often dangerous increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Muscle contractions
- Muscle spasms
- Appetite suppression
- Gustatory hallucinations
- Diarrhea - Some users have reported experiencing diarrhea while under the influence of MDPV, although this seems to be a relatively uncommon effect.
- Nausea - Some users have reported experiencing nausea while under the influence of MDPV, although this seems to be a relatively uncommon effect.
- Restless leg syndrome
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:
- Cognitive fatigue
- Motivation suppression
- Thought deceleration
The general cognitive effects of MDPV can be described as being similar to those of other typical stimulants. At common dosages, the MDPV high is described as being euphoric and slightly empatheogenic in its effects, causing increased motivation, sociability, sexual desire and concentration. Higher doses of MDPV, however, can intensify numerous negative effects such as anxiety and disorganized thoughts; at extremely high doses or continued use, delusions and psychosis become likely.
- Cognitive euphoria
- Compulsive redosing - MDPV is extremely potent in this effect; it has been shown that some users end up redosing, even if the negative effects outweigh the positives.
- Confusion - This effect is prominent at higher doses and after long periods of staying awake on the drug.
- Creativity enhancement
- Delusions - This effect can also manifest at high doses.
- Ego inflation
- Empathy, love, and sociability enhancement - MDPV's effects in this regard are similar to, but weaker than, those of MDMA.
- Focus enhancement
- Increased libido
- Motivation enhancement
- Stamina enhancement
- Psychosis - High doses of MDPV have been known to induce states of psychosis at a more frequent rate than most other stimulants.
- Time distortion - This can be described as the experience of time speeding up and passing much quicker than it usually would when sober.
- Thought acceleration
- Thought organization - Mainly observed with low to common doses.
- Thought disorganization - This effect manifests and is also intensified at higher doses.
- Wakefulness - Strong wakefulness is reported at high doses and can last for many hours after long periods of use.
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
This toxicity and harm potential section is a stub.
As a result, it may contain incomplete or even dangerously wrong information! You can help by expanding upon or correcting it.
MDPV has a relatively short history of human use, with very few mentions concerning the use thereof before 2004. Although once considered a potential alternative to existing stimulants with a lower risk for toxicity, human MDPV administration has not been extensively studied in a clinical setting for many decades. Despite this, several recent studies on cases of persisting psychosis caused by chronic use of MDPV show promising rates of recovery among individuals who are treated with certain antipsychotics and first-line antihistamines. There is currently no conclusive data concerning the neurotoxicity of MDPV in the human brain.
Anecdotal evidence from those who have tried MDPV in the community suggest that there are no negative health effects associated with the substance if simply taken at low doses by itself and when used sparingly (but nothing can be completely guaranteed).
Data taken from in-vitro and in-vivo studies have indicated that MDPV shares similar properties to methamphetamine and cocaine; in fact, MDPV is more potent than these two stimulants in a number of varying ways. The over-excitation of dopamine and noradrenaline caused by MDPV use, combined with MDPV's potential inability to create compensatory serotonergic activity, sets the stage for a number of hostile and psychotic reactions to the drug. These hostile tendencies have been witnessed in emergency response situations, and have also seen wide television coverage in the past, after an individual under the influence of MDPV viciously assaulted an innocent bystander. It is uncertain if the individual had any pre-existing mental disorders or if he was under the influence of any other drugs.
The exact lethal dosage of MDPV is unknown and no formal studies have been carried out in humans. For sake of reference, one report placed the lethal dosage for a 39 year old male at 0.4 micrograms per millilitre or greater following the results of a post mortem, but this data is far too individually unique and the variables simply too diverse to derive any kind of meaningful information from it. MDPV may be quantified in blood, plasma or urine by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients or to provide evidence in a medicolegal death investigation. Blood or plasma MDPV concentrations are expected to be in a range of 10–50 μg/L in persons using the drug recreationally, >50 μg/L in intoxicated patients, and >300 μg/L in victims of acute overdose.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this drug.
Dependence and abuse potential
More so than other stimulants, the chronic use of MDPV 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. Addiction is a serious risk among users of MDPV as it easily causes compulsive redosing and causes highly unpleasant comedown symptoms.
User reports indicate that chronic abuse or single exposure overdose of MDPV can potentially lead to psychosis more readily than the vast majority of stimulants. Psychotic symptoms from MDPV can include hearing voices, visual hallucinations, urges to harm oneself, severe anxiety, mania, grandiosity, paranoid delusions, confusion, increased aggression, and irritability.
Warning: Many psychoactive substances that are reasonably safe to use on their own can suddenly become dangerous and even life-threatening when combined with certain other substances. The following list provides some known dangerous interactions (although it is not guaranteed to include all of them).
Always conduct independent research (e.g. Google, DuckDuckGo, PubMed) to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some of the listed interactions have been sourced from TripSit.
- Stimulants - MDPV can be potentially dangerous in combination with other stimulants as it can increase one's heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels.
- 25x-NBOMe & 25x-NBOH - 25x compounds are highly stimulating and physically straining. Combinations with MDPV should be strictly avoided due to the risk of excessive stimulation and heart strain. This can result in increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, panic attacks, thought loops, seizures, and heart failure in extreme cases.
- Alcohol - Combining alcohol with stimulants can be dangerous due to the risk of accidental over-intoxication. Stimulants mask alcohol's depressant effects, which is what most people use to assess their degree of intoxication. Once the stimulant wears off, the depressant effects will be left unopposed, which can result in blackouts and severe respiratory depression. If mixing, the user should strictly limit themselves to only drinking a certain amount of alcohol per hour.
- DXM - Combinations with DXM should be avoided due to its inhibiting effects on serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake. There is an increased risk of panic attacks and hypertensive crisis, or serotonin syndrome with serotonin releasers (MDMA, methylone, mephedrone, etc.). Monitor blood pressure carefully and avoid strenuous physical activity.
- MDMA - Any neurotoxic effects of MDMA are likely to be increased when other stimulants are present. There is also a risk of excessive blood pressure and heart strain (cardiotoxicity).
- MXE - Some reports suggest combinations with MXE may dangerously increase blood pressure and increase the risk of mania and psychosis.
- Dissociatives - Both classes carry a risk of delusions, mania and psychosis, and these risk may be multiplied when combined.
- Stimulants - MDPV may be dangerous to combine with other stimulants like cocaine as they can increase one's heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels.
- Tramadol - Tramadol is known to lower the seizure threshold and combinations with stimulants may further increase this risk.
- MDMA - The neurotoxic effects of MDMA may be increased when combined with amphetamine and other stimulants.
In September 2014, the European Council decided that MDPV shall be subjected by the Member States to control measures and criminal penalties by October 2, 2015.
- Australia: In Western Australia, MDPV has been banned under the Poisons Act 1964, having been included in Appendix A Schedule 9 of the Poisons Act 1964 as of February 11, 2012. The Director of Public Prosecutions for Western Australia announced that anyone intending to sell or supply MDPV faces a maximum $100,000 fine or 25 years in jail. Users face a $2000 fine or two years' jail. Therefore, anyone caught with MDPV can be charged with possession, selling, supplying or intent to sell or supply.
- Austria: Since June 26, 2019, MDPV is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG. (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich)
- Belgium: MDPV is a controlled substance as of March 20, 2013.
- Brazil: MDPV is illegal to produce, sell, or possess as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
- Bulgaria: MDPV is controlled under the Narcotic Substances Control Law as of February 2011.
- Canada: On June 5, 2012 the Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced that MDPV would be listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which was passed into law on September 26, 2012.
- Croatia: MDPV is a controlled substance.
- Cyprus: MDPV a Class B controlled substance, as it is covered by the cathinones catch-all clause.
- Czech Republic: MDPV is a controlled substance.
- Denmark: MDPV is a controlled substance.
- Estonia : MDPV is a controlled substance as of November 29, 2010.
- Finland: MDPV is specifically listed as a controlled substance in Finland (listed appendix IV substance as of June 28, 2010),
- France: MDPV is a controlled substance as of August 2, 2012.
- Germany: MDPV is controlled under Anlage II BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule II) as of July 26, 2012. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
- Hungary: MDPV a Schedule A controlled psychotropic substance.
- Ireland: MDPV is covered by the Misuse of Drugs Acts since May 11, 2010.
- Italy: MDPV is a controlled substance as of December 29, 2011.
- Latvia: MDPV is a controlled substance.
- Luxembourg: MDPV is a controlled substance as of July 30, 2012.
- Norway: MDPV is a controlled substance as of Febuary 14, 2013.
- Poland: MDPV is a controlled substance.
- Slovakia: MDPV a Schedule I controlled psychotropic substance as of March 1, 2011.
- Slovenia: MDPV is a controlled substance.
- Sweden: MDPV is a controlled substance. In Sweden a 33-year-old man has been sentenced to six years in prison by an appellate court, Hovrätt, for possession of 250 grams of MDPV that had been acquired prior to criminalization.
- Switzerland: MDPV is a controlled substance specifically named under Verzeichnis D.
- Turkey: MDPV is a controlled substance.
- United Kingdom: MDPV is a Class B drug in the United Kingdom as a result of the cathinone catch-all clause.
- United States: On October 21, 2011, MDPV became a DEA federally scheduled drug. The DEA issued a temporary one-year ban on MDPV, classifying it as a schedule I substance. On December 8, 2011, under the Synthetic Drug Control Act, the US House of Representatives voted to ban MDPV and a variety of other synthetic drugs which had been sold legally in stores.
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