What is Methoxetamine?
Methoxetamine, MXE, is a new designer drug and a dissociative hallucinogen. Similar to Ketamine, Methoxetamine is an arylcyclohexamine, belongs to the class of general anesthetics and NMDA (N-Methyl-D-Aspartate) receptor agonists. It is a β-Keto-derivative of 3-methoxyeticyclidine and has a structure similar to that of ketamine. However, the research chemical has a longer duration of action than that of ketamine. It was produced to avoid its urotoxic effects owing to its higher potency and to bypass drug laws.
Dissociative rug means that it dissociates its user from his physical environment and body.
It is available in powder, liquid and capsule forms. It is usually snuffed, injected or swallowed.
In May 2010, Methoxetamine was first described online along with its effects. However, its vendors started selling it commercially a few months later, in September 2010. The sale increased so rapidly that the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction identified it soon
Street vendors sell this legal high with different names like:
These names make the drug more appealing for their buyer and also makes it easy to buy.
Mechanism of Action
NMDA Receptor antagonist
Methoxetamine exerts its effects mainly by acting as an antagonist of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptors. This pathway accounts for its anesthetic effects.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Methoxetamine also inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, increasing the concentration of the neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft. This increases the serotonergic effects including hallucination, mood elevation, and pleasure.
Dopamine, nor-epinephrine reuptake inhibition
Studies show that MXE’s action through the inhibition of dopamine or nor-epinephrine reuptake has been found to be minimal.
Activation of Dopaminergic neurotransmission
Methoxetamine activates the dopaminergic neurotransmission which is responsible for its antidepressant effects.
The onset of effects of Methoxetamine ranges from 5-90 minutes depending on its route of intake. When taken orally, the effects are produced within 15-45 minutes.
Through its effects on NMA receptors, Methoxetamine causes dissociative hallucinations. It produces a feeling of detachment with one’s self and one’s physical environment. It causes sensory deprivation and produces a dream-like state.
By increasing the level of dopaminergic neurotransmission, Methoxetamine produces anti-depressant effects. The main pathway involved in this mechanism is the mesolimbic reward pathway. Its users report reduced feelings of anxiety and depression.
By inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, the drug increases the levels of the neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft. This causes enhanced serotonergic effects like hallucinations, euphoria, increased sense of perception and pleasure through sexual activity.
Methoxetamine has entactogenic effects as well. Its users feel more peaceful, emotionally open and empathetic.
When taken in high doses, methoxetamine can be extremely toxic. It produces a range of unwanted effects as follows:
The toxic levels of this research drug cause loss of memory, depression, ataxia, anxiety, panic attacks, psychomotor agitation, and confusion.
The user experiences dizziness, nausea, vomiting, respiratory depression, cardiovascular problems.
The user of methoxetamine can also experience speech difficulties, increased heart rate and slurred speaking when the drug is taken in toxic concentrations. It is also known to cause inflammation and fibrosis of urinary bladder.
Just like other psychedelics, Methoxetamine will also interact with certain drugs altering their metabolism thereby producing unpleasant effects. Caution should be taken with the following drugs:
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors