Methcathinone (2-(methylamino)-propiophenone, α-methylamino-propiophenone) is a psychoactive stimulant. It is sometimes used as a recreational drug and is considered to be addictive. It is usually snorted, but can be smoked, injected, or taken orally. Methcathinone is currently a DEA Schedule I controlled substance in the United States.
The C=O bond at the Rβ-position (directly right of the benzene ring) is slightly polar, and as a result the drug does not cross the lipid blood-brain barrier quite as well as amphetamine. Nevertheless, it is a potent CNS stimulant and dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Chronic high dosage use may result in acute mental confusion ranging from mild paranoia to psychosis. These symptoms typically disappear quickly if use is stopped.
Unlike methamphetamine, methcathinone is not legal under any circumstances in the US due to its classification as a Schedule I substance. In contrast, methamphetamine has certain medical uses such as treatment of morbid obesity, narcolepsy and ADHD.