MDPV is 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone and belongs to “pyrroliinophenones”


MDPV is 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone and belongs to “pyrroliinophenones” (a sub-class of stimulating cathinone). It has a complex chemical structure holding a pyrrolidine ring and an alkyl side-chain extending from the α-carbon. MDPV is a psychoactive synthetic cannabinoid that interferes with the transport of neurotransmitters by binding to monoamine transporters.


MDPV is a bath salt drug that shares some functional similarities with other stimulants such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, MDMA, and cocaine. It acts as an inhibitor and blocks the monoamine transporter that reduces the ability of neurons to reabsorb epinephrine and dopamine, leading to effective increases in their intensity and duration. MDPV is extraordinarily effective at the dopamine (DA) transporter, shows minor effect at the norepinephrine transporter, and completely ineffective at the serotonin transporter.

MDPV is a white, yellowish-tan, or pale brown hygroscopic crystalline powder present in pure form that can be clumpy like sugar granules. It’s usually sold as a powder-filled capsules, powder, or tablets. This research chemical USA vendor is observed to decompose and change its properties rapidly when exposed to air due to the presence of impurities. It has bromine-like or fishy smell due to impurities. MDPV synthetic drug is usually consumed orally, insufflation, smoking, snorting, and intravenously.

Chemical formulae

MDPV is a counterpart of the pyrovalerone compound that was initially synthesized by a  pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim in the 1960s. It was used for the treatment of enduring fatigue problems, but later on, it was used for recreational purposes and sold as legal highs. The chemical composition of MDPV is C16H21NO3.

Fig:1 Chemical structure of MDPV


The effects of the drug after ingestion starts from 30 minutes and lasts for 2-3 hours with aftereffects up to eight hours. It depends upon the route of entry, amount of the drug ingested, and combination with other drugs. Some of the effects are:

  • MDPV produces amphetamine-like effects, such as feeling of responsiveness, increased sociability, increased energy, mental, and physical stimulation.
  • This research chemical is responsible for dopamine reuptake, increasing its concentration in the body that leads to stimulation, change in cognitive behavior, and arousal of sex by controlling reward and motor center.

Side effects

Overdose of the bath salt MDPV can cause severe complications leading to death. Its combination usage with other reagents like acetaminophen can lead to seizures. Some of the side effects are following.

  • High doses can cause anxiety, muscle spasms, elevated heart rate, anxiety, and delusions. High temperature leads to organ failure and blood vessel problems.
  • The users who cannot tolerate the high dose of the MDPV drug faces severe panic attacks, cravings, depression, and neurosis.
  • Injecting, snorting, and smoking with usage of other persons pipes, straws, and needles can lead to transmission of HIV and hepatitis transmission.
  • Acute toxic effects of this bath salt drug can occur due to over-stimulation of the cardiovascular and central nervous system. It causes agitation, hyperthermia, tachycardia, acidosis, rhabdomyolysis, and hallucinations.
  • Lung damage due to inhalation, cancer of nasal epithelium, and infertility can result in repeated use of the drug.

Street names

The most common street name of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone is monkey dust. The other street names of this psychoactive stimulant are MDPK, MTV, pixie dust, vanilla sky, aura, super coke, and magic.

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