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MDPEP is a substituted cathinone also known as MD-PV8. It’s a derivative of the cathinone that naturally occurs in the khat plant, but is produced by substitutions at 3 locations of the cathinone molecule. To make MDPEP, the original cathinone molecule is replaced with 3,4-methylenedioxy, pentyl and pyrrolidinyl, which aren’t found in the natural cathinone molecule .
Synthetic cathinones were originally developed in the 1930s to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease, obesity and depression. MDPEP was developed later, as part of the second wave of synthetic cathinones that are alpha-PVP (alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone) based .
A study published in 2018 in the “Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology” shed light on the difference between alpha-PVP based synthetic cathinones and their predecessors. According to research, pyrrolidine-containing cathinones such as MDPEP are potent transporter blockers that inhibit neurotransmitter uptake. Like other synthetic cathinones, MDPEP increases extracellular monoamine concentrations in the brain, thus causing a stimulant effect by increasing cell-to-cell monoamine signaling. Whereas the older generation of synthetic cathinones work by increasing neurotransmitter release, this blocking mechanism of MDPEP makes it more akin to an amphetamine .