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BEK is a synthetic cathinone also known as pentylone hydrochloride . Its full name is 1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-(methylamino)-1-pentanone, monohydrochloride and its molecular formula is C13H17NO3 • HCl . It’s one of the newer synthetic cathinones, as opposed to the first wave of them developed in the 1930s. Synthetic cathinones are made through the numerous possibilities substitution moieties common to amphetamine and cathinone. Whereas the earlier cathinone derivitives like methylone worked by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters, BEK works by blocking their uptake, causing higher levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norephedrine to flood the brain .
In a 2019 study published in “Neuropharmacology,” researchers tested the effects of BEK in rats. The researchers gave the rats different types of synthetic cathinones, including some of the older generation ones like methylone. When given BEK, the rats were more inclined to self-administer more doses compared to when they were given methylone. The researchers concluded that the newer wave of synthetic cathinones could be more addictive than the original substances .