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Medicines Containing Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine as a Source of Methcathinone

NCJ Number
Problems of Forensic Sciences Volume: 71 Dated: 2007 Pages: 323-333
Dariusz Zuba
Date Published
11 pages
This paper presents studies that assessed whether it is possible to produce, and how efficiently, methcathinone (a controlled psychotropic substance) from ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, active substances of many therapeutic preparations.
In the performed experiments, methcathinone was obtained from ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The average amount of methcathinone prepared from six tablets of Sudafed, each containing 60 mg of pseudoephedrine, was 88.2 plus-or-minus 1.8 mg. The average amount of methcathinone obtained from 10 tablets of Tussipect, each containing 15 mg of ephedrine, was 19.1 plus-or-minus 6.5 mg. These amounts constitute from one to several doses of this psychotropic substance. Both Sudafed and Tussipect are available without prescription, and ephedrine and pseudoephedrine can be extracted from them easily and economically. Regardless of the level of methcathinone content obtained from Sudafed and Tussipect, there is concern about the high toxicity. According to information provided by those treating drug addicts in southwest Poland, dozens of people have died from the side effects of ingesting products extracted from Sudafed and Tussipect. Evidence shows that products obtained from the processing of these medicines produce a complex toxic reaction that is significantly more intensive than that produced by the administration of pure methcathinone alone. This paper describes the material and methods used to obtain methcathinone from Tussipect and Sudafed tablets. 4 figures, 1 table and 14 references


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