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Methylone (Molecule of the Month for October 2010)

3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone, bk-MDMA, MDMC, Arlone

Methylone is an entactogen and stimulant of the phenethylamine, amphetamine, and cathinone classes. It was originally patented by Peyton Jacob and Alexander Shulgin in 1996 as an antidepressant. Methylone is a close structural analogue of MDMA, differing by the addition of a β-ketone group.

At the end of 2004, a new designer drug called "Explosion" appeared in the Netherlands. This drug was sold as a liquid via the internet and in Dutch "smartshops". The product is advertised as a "room odorizer" and is sold in plastic tubes containing 5 mL of liquid. The tubes cost between 10 and 15 ($13$20) and do not present any information about the composition of Explosion; they contain only a label saying "Room odorizer Vanilla. Do not ingest" and "Keep away from children. Never use more than one bottle". Users have mentioned ingesting the liquid to reach euphoric stimulating effects similar to those of MDMA. Analysis of "Explosion" has confirmed that the active ingredient is methylone. In the UK, Methylone is illegal since the 16/04/2010 revision of the misuse of drugs act. Before this it was not specifically mentioned in United Kingdom (U.K.) law as the β-ketone was not covered under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The effects of methylone may include the following: Stimulation, Euphoria or dysphoria, and anxiolysis or anxiogenesis, depending on the individual, An increase in sociability, Insomnia and restlessness, Derealization/depersonalization, hallucinations, and psychosis, depending on the individual, and in all individuals with high dosage or extended use.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
C11 H13 N O3



Picture of Methylone

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Methylone structure
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Picture of Methylone


Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for October 2010 )