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Last updated : May 9, 2019
Please note: Mephedrone is a relatively new drug. To date, there is limited evidence of how widely it is used in Australia. Due to the lack of formal research about its use and effects, much of the information used in this fact sheet has been taken from people who have used the drug, rather than from scientific sources. (This page will be updated once more information is known.)
Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and body.1 Mephedrone is classed among New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), a range of drugs that have been designed to produce effects similar to those of established illicit drugs.
It was originally marketed online as a plant fertiliser or ‘research chemical’.1
Mephedrone comes in different forms, including:
Meph, meow, meow-meow, m-cat, plant food, drone, bubbles, kitty cat.1
Mephedrone powder is usually sniffed/snorted or swallowed.2
Swallowing is the most common way of taking the drug. It is usually mixed with liquid to drink or wrapped in a cigarette paper (known as ‘bombing’).2
There are also reports of people injecting the drug.3
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.6
Mephedrone affects everyone differently, based on:
The following effects may be experienced and may last for two-to-four hours:
Mephedrone has been linked to some deaths in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.
Injecting mephedrone can cause soft tissue and vascular damage.4
Sharing needles may also transmit:
If a large amount of mephedrone is consumed, it could cause an overdose. If any of the following effects are experienced, an ambulance should be called immediately by dialing triple zero (000).
In the days after mephedrone use, the following may be experienced:
Regular use of mephedrone may eventually cause:
The effects of taking mephedrone with other drugs – including over-the-counter or prescribed medications – can be unpredictable and dangerous. The following combinations could have the following effects:
Giving up mephedrone after using it for a long time can be challenging because the body has to get used to functioning normally without it.
Reported symptoms include:
strong urge to re-dose, muscle tension, intense connection with music, rush of intense pleasure, nose bleeds, anxiety, blurred vision, chest pain, dilated pupils, distorted sense of time, dizziness, dry mouth, fast heart rate, feeling happy, high blood pressure, memory loss, paranoia, reduced appetite, restless sleep, skin rashes, stomach pains, sweating, tremors.