Substituted phenethylamines (also referred to as phenethylamines) are a group of organic compounds that are based upon the phenethylamine structure. The class is composed of all the derivative compounds of phenethylamine which can be formed by replacing, or substituting, one or more hydrogen atoms in the phenethylamine core structure with substituents.
Many substituted phenethylamines are psychoactive substances which belong to a variety of different classes, including central nervous system stimulants (e.g., amphetamine), hallucinogens (e.g. DOM), entactogens (e.g. MDMA), appetite suppressants (e.g. phentermine), antidepressants (e.g. bupropion and phenelzine), among others.
Many of these psychoactive compounds exert their pharmacological effects primarily by modulating monoamine neurotransmitter systems; however, there is no mechanism of action or biological target that is common to all members of this subclass.
Numerous endogenous compounds – including hormones, monoamine neurotransmitters, and many trace amines (e.g. dopamine, norepinephrine, tyramine) – are substituted phenethylamines. Several notable recreational drugs, such as MDMA, methamphetamine, and cathinone, are also members of the class. All of the substituted amphetamines and substituted methylenedioxyphenethylamines are substituted phenethylamines as well.
Phenethylamines have been identified as the fourth largest category of substances with a total of 102, falling behind cathinones with 156 substances and cannabinoids with 209 substances, according to a report by the EU Early Warning System.
The structural formula of any substituted phenethylamine contains a phenyl ring that is joined to an amino (NH) group via a two-carbon sidechain. Hence, any substituted phenethylamine can be classified according to the substitution of hydrogen (H) atoms on phenethylamine's phenyl ring, sidechain, or amino group with a specific group of atoms.
List of substituted phenethylamines
This table does not include the following groups of substituted phenethylamines:
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- European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2018). European drug report 2018: Trends and developments. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. https://doi.org/10.2810/725386