What is methoxetamine?
Methoxetamine is a powerful dissociative drug in the same family as ketamine and PCP (arylcyclohexylamines). It is a new drug and there has been very little research into its effects and dangers, so the information in this article is more provisional and less definitive than the other articles on this site.
Are there different types of methoxetamine and how do they compare?
Like ketamine, methoxetamine is usually acquired as a whitish powder. However, compared to ketamine, a much smaller amount of methoxetamine is required to produce the desired effects, and it is very easy to take too much.
How does methoxetamine work as a drug in the brain and body?
Very little is known about methoxetamine. It is a ‘dissociative anaesthetic’, working in similar ways to its close relatives ketamine and PCP. It seems to affect several different receptors in the brain.
Does methoxetamine have medical uses?
Methoxetamine has no known medical uses. However, ketamine has existing medical uses, so drugs in this family are beginning to be investigated by scientists looking for useful properties such as antidepressant effects.
Little is known about methoxetamine so the risks of trying to self-medicate with this drug are likely far to outweigh the chance of benefits.
What effects does methoxetamine have when someone takes it?
Our knowledge of the effects is currently based on the unconfirmed reports of users and a handful of case studies from hospital admissions and is therefore unreliable and incomplete. Methoxetamine seems to share similarities with the effects of ketamine, although it seems stronger and much longer lasting than ketamine.
•Smaller doses are reported by some to produce euphoria and fuzzy, floating, cosy feelings. It seems to make people chatty or relaxed.
•Higher doses can bring increasingly strange feelings of disconnection from normal reality. It becomes increasingly difficult to talk fluently, but thoughts may seem exceptionally meaningful. Alternatively, users report feeling unpleasantly confused. The body may feel clumsy, uncoordinated and detached from the mind. Vision and hearing may become juddering and impaired.
•A high dose can cause a full-blown ‘trip’ or ‘M-hole’ with hallucinatory visions. There may be unpleasant confusion and anxiety, and there have been reports of users getting agitated and even aggressive. Users may become unresponsive to people in the outside world, and physical effectsincreasing the heart rate and blood pressure may be risky. The visions experienced can be very realistic and seem fun, scary or even spiritual, but they are unlikely to be remembered in detail. High doses will seriously impair coordinated movement but some have reported that it is more possible to stagger around (and therefore to injure yourself) on a high dose of methoxetamine than on a high dose of ketamine. According to some users, the long-lasting effects make it more likely that a powerful experience will feel unpleasantly draining.
Reported unpleasant effects include nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headaches afterwards, and difficulty sleeping which can last days. Some users can show signs of impairment for days, or feel slow-witted for hours after any pleasant effects have finished. Low doses probably have a lower risk of serious and lingering unpleasant effects.
What are the risks of using methoxetamine? Can they be avoided or reduced?
A major risk of taking methoxetamine is that there is so little known about the risks of taking methoxetamine.
Some of the problems that have occurred resemble the problems that can be caused by ketamine. Patients admitted to hospital after taking the drug showed raised heart-rates and blood-pressure, and some were experiencing hallucinations and disorientation, agitation, fear and confusion. Based on the very small number of patients reported, the symptoms appear generally more severe than is common with patients who are admitted to hospital after taking ketamine. These acute symptoms are reversible.
What may appear a small quantity may be enough to cause collapse, and even an ambulance ride. Measuring by eye rather than using sensitive scales is very risky. Unpleasant or harmful effects are likely if people take a similar quantity as they are used to taking of ketamine.
Like ketamine, the greatest risk of serious harm or death from methoxetamine may be accidentscaused by the effects of the drug, (especially when combined with other drugs like alcohol) such as road accidents or falls. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is easier to remain mobile after taking large amounts of methoxetamine compared to large amounts of ketamine. This could increase the risk of injury. This risk can be reduced by preparation of a safe area and the presence of a sober friend.
Aside from the risks of physical harm, the risk of having an unpleasant or even a traumatic experience should be taken seriously. Online user reports of overdoses and bad trips cannot be verified, and it is impossible to know how representative they are of users’ experiences. However, taken as a whole they build up an image of a drug that is capable of causing very frightening and overwhelming experiences, even in experienced drug users. The long duration of the drug’s effects increase the significance of this risk. As with all mind-altering drugs, the chances of a horrible trip are influenced by the ‘set and setting’. Taking methoxetamine when in a low mood, in a stressful unfamiliar place, amongst strangers would be more likely to be disastrous.
Are some people at higher risk?
There is no relevant evidence about methoxetamine. It is likely that the risks could be similar in many ways to those of ketamine.
Is it riskier to use methoxetamine with other drugs in your system?
It is virtually certain that, like ketamine, methoxetamine will be much more harmful when taken with nervous system depressant drugs like alcohol, heroin or GBL. Combining these drugs powerfully amplifies their negative effects on risky behaviour, consciousness, movement and breathing. One individual needed a tube to keep his airway open so he could breathe after taking the drug with alcohol. Two deaths by drowning that have been linked to methoxetamine also involved alcohol.
The effects of methoxetamine on heart-rate and blood pressure are likely to be exacerbated by stimulant drugs like cocaine and amphetamines, and the risks of disturbing visions and panic may be raised by mixing with cannabis or hallucinogens.
How addictive is methoxetamine?
We have no solid evidence. Methoxetamine is related to ketamine, which can be addictive. The reports of users on the internet indicate that some people consider themselves addicted and suffer significant damage to their quality of life from this.
What are the harms of using methoxetamine long-term?
Because it has been around for such a short time, we have no evidence of long-term harms. It was claimed by people selling the drug that methoxetamine is an alternative to ketamine without the risks to the bladder that ketamine has, but there is no evidence for this whatsoever, in fact it appears todamage the bladders of mice.
If, like ketamine, it is addictive, (and unconfirmed user reports online support this), then persistent use could lead to serious effects on people’s quality of life. Addicted ketamine users suffer cravings that disrupt their lives and the drugs can cause negative effects on memory. Regular users can regularly feel a bit befuddled. These mental effects seem to reverse when users quit the drug.
Methoxetamine harm reduction advice
Because so little is known about it, there is an argument that taking methoxetamine is always unacceptably risky. Even so, if you do use the drug, there are ways of reducing the chances of getting harmed.
Be extremely cautious with the dosage
•A line or a pinch measured by eye is probably too much. Digital scales which measure at the 0.001g (1 mg) level may help you prevent errors and can be bought online.
•Users report that methoxetamine can take an hour or so to really kick in. If you add to your dose at this point, the combined effects may be stronger than anticipated.
Avoid mixing it with other drugs, especially alcohol
•It is almost certain that, like ketamine, methoxetamine will be much more harmful when taken with alcohol. Combining these drugs powerfully amplifies their negative effects on risky behaviour, consciousness, movement and breathing. Two deaths by drowning that have been linked to methoxetamine also involved alcohol.
•A reckless decision to take methoxetamine among strangers in a chaotic party is likely to result in an unpleasant experience.
•The chances of having a messy experience can be minimised by staying at home, measuring out doses beforehand, and getting comfy on a bed or sofa with someone sober to chat with who you trust to look after you if needed.
•Leave plenty of time for recovery and sleep before you have anything important to do.
Watch out for the possibility of addiction
It is likely that, like ketamine, tolerance builds up rapidly, so a regular user needs more and more to get the effects they want. The more you use, the higher your risk of suffering cravings and symptoms if you try to stop, and so becoming addicted. If your tolerance is increasing, be especially mindful of the risks of addiction.