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Ethylphenidate, also known as EPH, is a stimulant chemical structurally related to methylphenidate. In fact, ethylphenidate metabolizes into methylphenidate in the brain. It also metabolizes into ritalinic acid. Conversely, when methylphenidate is ingested with alcohol, ethylphenidate is formed in the body through hepatic transesterification.
Ethylphenidate produces its psychostimulant effects by blocking the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, elevating extracellular levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Compared to methylphenidate, ethylphenidate is more selective to the dopamine transporter than the norepinephrine transporter, which could result in more euphoric and reinforcing effects than methylphenidate .
The effects of ethylphenidate on human users were reported in a 2015 study published in “Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment.” The mental effects included euphoria and pleasurable stimulation, but also negative psychological experiences like anxiety, indecision and cognitive fragmentation. Nonetheless, the chemical made users feel more open around others, improving their communication and social skills. The physical symptoms included elevated body temparture, heart rate and blood pressure, as well as sweating and tension .