Monday, March 27, 2017
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AMT (alpha-methyltryptamine)

amtmoleculeAMT (alpha-methyltryptamine) is Schedule I in the United States. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute (sell, trade or give) without a DEA license. Not available by prescription.

Addictive Potential: None

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: A handful of hospital visits, 2 verifiable deaths from overdose more…

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Unknown

Mechanism of Action: Dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor and releaser; selective MAO-A inhibitor


α-Methyl-tryptamine, also known as alpha-methyltryptamine, α-MT, AMT or IT-290, is a synthetic drug of the tryptamine family. It was described in Shulgin’s book TIHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved). According to Shulgin, “In the 1960’s there was quite a bit of interest at a couple of pharmaceutical houses in the indole analogues of amphetamine. Both the alpha-methylated tryptamine (AMT) and the alpha-ethylated homologue (AET) were found to be effective monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and both were clinically studied as potential antidepressants. The ethyl compound became a commercial drug, offered by the Upjohn Company as Monase, but now is considered to be without medical use and is a Schedule I drug. It is interesting that this methyl compound, AMT was also a medically available antidepressant in the Soviet Union in the 1960’s and was sold under the name of Indopan, in 5 and 10 milligram tablets.”

Like many other tryptamines, at sufficient dosages it is a psychedelic entactogen. Users may experience empathogenic and entheogenic effects. The duration of effects from 20 mg of AMT usually last between 8 and 14 hours.  Its effects may take 2 hours to onset. It also acts as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI).

On 4 April 2003, an emergency United States DEA order resulted in α-MT being placed, along with 5-MeO-DIPT, on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

Substance Identification:

     Mecke Reagent          Marquis Reagent    
AMT  Brown  Yellow-brown

(Info provided by Morris, 2012)

Side Effects and Adverse Reactions:

Some side effects reported by recreational users include:

  • emotional distress
  • anxiety
  • dilated pupils
  • jaw clenching
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea


FIU Student’s February Death Linked To AMT: A 22-year-old frequenter of clubs has died from a new drug on the scene called AMT. Police said in February, 22-year-old Dan Arango, sweating profusely and trembling, told his roommates he had discovered the secrets of the universe. Then the Florida International University student went to sleep and never woke up. His father spoke Monday, saying his son’s death hurts a lot especially when he thinks he was only 22 years old. Police said Arango got the drug over the Internet and that it’s often passed off as the club drug Ecstasy. Drug experts say they do not yet know the full dangers of AMT. Arango is the first person in Miami-Dade County to die from taking AMT (NBC6, 2003).

Bay County Death: Authorities in Bay County are hoping to learn today what kind of drug killed 21-year-old Felicia Staats. Detectives say a new drug called AMT is being sold as Ecstasy. It’s believed that Staats died after taking the pills Sunday night. Jason Clewis, who also took the same drug, was found in “what appeared to be a daze” and nearly died from taking the same substance. Authorities say the pills appear to be a popular form of Ecstasy known as “Blair Witch.” Investigation continues in the case (WTVY, 2003).


Effects in normal man of alpha-methyltryptamine and alpha-ethyltryptamine

Alpha-methyltryptamine revisited via easy Internet access

Experiments with alpha-methyltryptamine

Fatality due to acute α-methyltryptamine intoxication

The effects of non-medically used psychoactive drugs on monoamine neurotransmission in rat brain

Studies of monoamine oxidase and semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase. II. Inhibition by alpha-methylated substrate-analogue monoamines

Using Internet Snapshot Surveys to Enhance Our Understanding of the Availability of the Novel Psychoactive Substance Alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT)

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