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Article

Acute Pharmacological Effects of Oral and Intranasal Mephedrone: An Observational Study in Humans

1
Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol (HUGTP-IGTP), 08916 Badalona, Spain
2
Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallés, Spain
3
Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience Research Group, Neurosciences Research Program, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (CEXS-UPF), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
4
Department of Psychiatry and Forensic Medicine, Institut de Neuropsiquiatria i Adiccions (INAD), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
5
Energy Control, Associació Benestar i Desenvolupament, 08041 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Simona Bertoni and Anna Stary-Weinzinger
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14020100
Received: 21 December 2020 / Revised: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Forensic Toxicology: The Latest Updates)
Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a synthetic cathinone with psychostimulant properties which remains one of the most popular new psychoactive substances (NPS). It is frequently used orally and/or intranasally. To date, no studies have evaluated the acute effects and pharmacokinetics after self-administration of mephedrone orally (ingestion) and intranasally (insufflation) in naturalistic conditions. An observational study was conducted to assess and compare the acute pharmacological effects, as well as the oral fluid (saliva) concentrations of mephedrone self-administered orally and intranasally. Ten healthy experienced drug users (4 females and 6 males) self-administered a single dose of mephedrone, orally (n = 5, 100–200 mg; mean 150 mg) or intranasally (n = 5, 50–100 mg, mean 70 mg). Vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and cutaneous temperature) were measured at baseline (0), 1, 2, and 4 h after self-administration. Each participant completed subjective effects questionnaires: A set of Visual Analogue Scales (VAS), the 49-item Addiction Research Centre Inventory (ARCI), and Evaluation of the Subjective Effects of Substances with Abuse Potential (VESSPA-SSE) at baseline, 1, 2, and 4 h after self-administration. Oral fluid and urine were collected during 4 h. Both routes of mephedrone self-administration enhanced ratings of euphoria and well-being effects and increased cardiovascular effects in humans. Although it was at times assessed that the oral route produced greater and larger effects than the intranasal one, concentrations of mephedrone in oral fluid and also the total amount of mephedrone and metabolites in urine showed that concentrations of mephedrone are considerably higher when self-administered intranasally in comparison to orally. Controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm our observational results. View Full-Text
Keywords: mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone); novel psychoactive substances (NPS); psychostimulants; cathinones bath salts; oral administration; intranasal administration mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone); novel psychoactive substances (NPS); psychostimulants; cathinones bath salts; oral administration; intranasal administration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Papaseit, E.; Olesti, E.; Pérez-Mañá, C.; Torrens, M.; Fonseca, F.; Grifell, M.; Ventura, M.; de la Torre, R.; Farré, M. Acute Pharmacological Effects of Oral and Intranasal Mephedrone: An Observational Study in Humans. Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14, 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14020100

AMA Style

Papaseit E, Olesti E, Pérez-Mañá C, Torrens M, Fonseca F, Grifell M, Ventura M, de la Torre R, Farré M. Acute Pharmacological Effects of Oral and Intranasal Mephedrone: An Observational Study in Humans. Pharmaceuticals. 2021; 14(2):100. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14020100

Chicago/Turabian Style

Papaseit, Esther, Eulalia Olesti, Clara Pérez-Mañá, Marta Torrens, Francina Fonseca, Marc Grifell, Mireia Ventura, Rafael de la Torre, and Magí Farré. 2021. "Acute Pharmacological Effects of Oral and Intranasal Mephedrone: An Observational Study in Humans" Pharmaceuticals 14, no. 2: 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14020100

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