Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Bath Salts" and methamphetamine have a different toxicological profile?

There have been a number of news reports recently about people who display abnormal aggression while using "bath salts".  The putative active ingredient in these preparations is mephedrone, a combination of methamphetamine and cathinone.  While methamphetamine is neurotoxic to the terminal button of striatal neurons, a report in The Journal of Neurochemistry suggests that mephedrone lacks methamphetamine's impact in this model.   Despite the similarities between mephedrone and methamphetamine, mephedrone does not produce methamphetamine's change in dopamine, dopamine transporter, or tyrosine hydroxylase.

Reference - Angoa-Perez et al. (2012). Mephedrone, an abused psychoactive component of 'bath salts' and methamphetamine congener, does not cause neurotoxicity to dopamine nerve endings of the striatum  J Neurosci 120(6): 1097


  1. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse 2012, 3, 4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone Mephedrone, and methylone is found in bath salt; which is synthetic cathinones. The substances are different properties, and today the substances affect of the human brain is unknown. The substances are chemically similar to amphetamines (Meth) as well as to MDMA. Bath salt raises the level of the dopamine in the brain by regulating the reward and movement; which causes feeling of euphoria and increase activity National Institute on Drug Abuse 2012.

  2. Since bath salts and methamphetamine have different toxicological profiles, does this make one drug worse than the other? Many reports on behaviors and deaths related to bath salts seem more horrific verses the behaviors and deaths related to methamphetamine. However, methamphetamine is very devastating for the users and society, it seems that bath salts is more potent drug with even more devastating effects. I would like to know if the differences in the drugs' toxicological make-up is a factor in the type of reactions and behaviors that develop from users.