3,4-Methylenedioxyphenethylamine · Homopiperonylamine
#115 MDPEA SYNTHESIS: A suspension of 4.0 g LAH in 300 mL anhydrous Et2O was stirred and heated to a gentle reflux in an inert atmosphere. There was added 3.9 g 3,4-methylenedioxy-β-nitrostyrene (see under for its preparation) by allowing the condensing Et2O to leach it out from a Soxhlet thimble. After the addition was complete, the reaction mixture was held at reflux for an additional 48 h. It was then cooled and the excess hydride was destroyed by the cautious addition of 300 mL of 1.5 N H2SO4. When both phases were completely clear, they were separated, and the aqueous phase washed once with 50 mL Et2O. There was then added 100 g potassium sodium tartrate, followed by sufficient base to bring the pH >9. This was extracted with 3×75 mL CH2Cl2, and the solvent from these pooled extracts was removed under vacuum. The residue was dissolved in 150 mL anhydrous Et2O and saturated with anhydrous HCl gas. There was a heavy crystallization of 3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamine hydrochloride (MDPEA) which weighed 3.0 g and had a mp of 212–213 °C.
DOSAGE: greater than 300 mg.
DURATION: unknown.
QUALITATIVE COMMENTS: (with 200 mg) “It was taken twice at different times in a dosage of 200 milligrams each time, without the slightest peripheral or central effects.”
(with 300 mg) “My tinnitus had disappeared. Probably nothing.”
EXTENSIONS AND COMMENTARY: How strange. Even more than , this cyclic analogue MDPEA is a potential prodrug to , and would be a prime candidate for central activity. So why is this drug not active? The usual reason advanced by the pharmacologists is that the body is full of potent enzymes known as monoamine oxidases, and this is a monoamine, and so the body simply chews away on it in an oxidative manner, inactivating it before it ever makes it to some target receptor.
That is the pitch given in the textbooks. Phenethylamines are subject to easy enzymatic oxidation, hence they are not active. The presence of an alpha-methyl group (the corresponding amphetamines) blocks the compound from easy access to the enzyme, and since that protects them from oxidative destruction, they are active. The oft-quoted exception is , and even it is largely destroyed, as evidenced by the large amount needed for activity (a fraction of a gram). Sorry, I can’t buy it. This entire book is peppered with phenethylamines that are active at the few-milligram area. Why aren’t they also destroyed as well? The textbooks simply are not right.
MDPEA was one of the seven compounds evaluated as to toxicity and animal behavior at the University of Michigan under contract from the Army Chemical Center. Its Edgewood Arsenal code number was EA-1297. The number for itself was EA-1298.
The beta-hydroxy analogue of MDPEA is the ethanolamine MDE, standing for . This is an old term, and in the more recent literature, since 1975 certainly, has been used to represent methylenedioxyethylamphetamine. The ethanolamine compound is discussed in the recipe for .
There is a family of compounds, to be discussed elsewhere, that is called the Muni-Metro (see under ). The simplest member is this compound, MDPEA, and under its chemically acceptable synonym, homopiperonylamine, it can be called “H”. Following that code, then, the N-methyl homologue of MDPEA is , and it has been looked at, clinically, as an antitussive agent. N-METHYL-MDPEA, or METHYL-H, or N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamine is effective in this role at dosages of about 30 milligrams, but I have read nothing that would suggest that there were any central effects. I have tried it at this level and have found a little tightness of the facial muscles, but there was nothing at all in the mental area.
13 May 2016 · Creative Commons BY-NC-SA ·

About PiHKAL · info

This version of Book II of PiHKAL is based on the Erowid online version, originally transcribed by Simson Garfinkle and converted into HTML by Lamont Granquist. I drew also on “Tyrone Slothrop’s” (Unfinished) Review of PIHKAL to enumerate the many analogues mentioned in PiHKAL but not described at length. Many, many others have since been added.
I have tried here to expunge any artifacts introduced by the earlier transcriptions and restore the typographic niceties found in the printed edition. I’ve also made minor changes to some chemical names in line with current nomenclature practice. Typically the change is little more than expanding a prefix or setting it in italics. The history page has further details.

Cautionary note

“At the present time, restrictive laws are in force in the United States and it is very difficult for researchers to abide by the regulations which govern efforts to obtain legal approval to do work with these compounds in human beings.
“No one who is lacking legal authorization should attempt the synthesis of any of the compounds described in these files, with the intent to give them to man. To do so is to risk legal action which might lead to the tragic ruination of a life. It should also be noted that any person anywhere who experiments on himself, or on another human being, with any of the drugs described herein, without being familiar with that drug’s action and aware of the physical and/or mental disturbance or harm it might cause, is acting irresponsibly and immorally, whether or not he is doing so within the bounds of the law.”
Alexander T. Shulgin

Copyright notice

The copyright for Book I of PiHKAL has been reserved in all forms and it may not be distributed. Book II of PiHKAL may be distributed for non-commercial reproduction provided that the introductory information, copyright notice, cautionary notice and ordering information remain attached.

Ordering information

PiHKAL is the extraordinary record of the authors’ years exploring the chemistry and transformational power of phenethylamines. This book belongs in the library of anyone seeking a rational, enlightened and candid perspective on psychedelic drugs.
Though Sasha and Ann have put Book II of PiHKAL in the public domain, available to anyone, I strongly encourage you to buy a copy. We owe them — and there’s still nothing quite like holding a real book in your hands.
PiHKAL (ISBN 0-9630096-0-5) is available for US$24.50 (plus $10 domestic first-class shipping) from Transform Press.
Transform Press,
Box 13675
Berkeley, CA 94701

510 · 934 · 4930 (voice)
510 · 934 · 5999 (fax)