Saturday, May 27, 2017
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PMAParamethoxyamphetamine (PMA) is Schedule I in the United States. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute without a DEA license. Not available by prescription.

Addictive Potential: Unknown

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Unknown

Mechanism of Action: MAOI(a) and it increases serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine


PMA Capsules

PMA Capsules

Paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA) is also known as 4-methoxyamphetamine. It is an entactogen with stimulant effects similar to MDMA. As explained by Martin (2001), PMA is a “phenylethylamine derivative [like MDMA and MDA]. However, the distinguishing feature of PMA is a closer structural resemblance to mescaline which bestows increased hallucinogenic properties to the drug.”

Interestingly, PMA was once thought to be exclusively a product of chemical synthesis. However, recent research suggests that PMA is also a trace alkaloid found in various plants including Acacia berlandieri and Browningia candelaris.

The recreational use of PMA was first encountered during the early 1970s in the United States and Canada. Since then, dozens of deaths and many more hospitalizations have occurred. According to Ling et al., (2001), “most people with PMA poisoning present with clinical features that are qualitatively similar to those of people with ecstasy [MDMA] poisoning (ie, hyperthermia, coma, and seizures), but that these symptoms occur more frequently and are more severe in those who took PMA.”


PMA is a potent selective serotonin releasing agent, and it exerts weak effects on dopamine and norepinephrine (Menon et al., 1976). PMA is also a type-A monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (Kraner et al., 2001).

Substance Identification:

     Mecke Reagent                   Mandelin Reagent   Marquis Reagent    
PMA Pale Olive Green                  Rust No Color Change

(Info provided by EMCDDA)

Side Effects & Adverse Reactions:

  • hyperthermia or hypothermia (Ling et al., 2001)
  • coma (Ling et al., 2001)
  • seizures (Ling et al., 2001)
  • anxiety and agitation (Ling et al., 2001)
  • nausea and  vomiting (Ling et al., 2001)
  • delirium and hallucinations (Ling et al., 2001)
  • headache (Ling et al., 2001)
  • involuntary movements (Ling et al., 2001)
  • tachycardia and arrhythmias (Ling et al., 2001)




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