Legal status
Legal status
CAS Number
PubChem CID
Chemical and physical data
Formula C16H19N
Molar mass 225.328 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)

Ephenidine (also known as NEDPA and EPE) is a dissociative anesthetic that has been sold online as a designer drug.[1][2] It is illegal in some countries as a structural isomer of the banned opioid drug lefetamine, but has been sold in countries where it is not yet banned.[3][4]



Ephenidine and related diarylethylamines have been studied in vitro as treatments for neurotoxic injuries, and are antagonists of the NMDA receptor (Ki = 66.4 nM for ephenidine).[5][6][7][8][9] Ephenidine also possesses weaker affinity for dopamine and norepinephrine transporters (379 nM and 841 nM, respectively) as well as σ1R (629 nM) and σ2R (722 nM) binding sites.[10]


Ephenidine's metabolic pathway consists of N-oxidation, N-dealkylation, mono- and bis-hydroxylation of the benzene ring, and hydroxylation of the phenyl ring only after N-dealkylation. The dihydroxy metabolites were conjugated by methylation of one hydroxy group, and hydroxy metabolites by glucuronidation or sulfation.[3][11]


Ephenidine reacts with reagent tests to give a semi-unique array of colors which can be used to aid its identification.

Final colors produced by reagent tests[12]
Reagent Reaction color
Marquis Orange > Brown
Mandelin Green
Liebermann Deep red > Brown (fast)
Froehde Light Yellow

Society and culture

Sweden's public health agency suggested that Ephenidine be classified as a hazardous substance on 1 June 2015. Due to that suggestion, Ephenidine became a scheduled substance, in Sweden, as of 18 August 2015.[13]

In Canada, MT-45 and its analogues were made Schedule I controlled substances.[14] Possession without legal authority can result in maximum 7 years imprisonment. Further, Health Canada amended the Food and Drug Regulations in May, 2016 to classify AH-7921 as a restricted drug. Only those with a law enforcement agency, person with an exemption permit or institutions with Minister's authorization may possess the drug.

See also


  1. Hamilton Morris; Jason Wallach (July–August 2014). "From PCP to MXE: a comprehensive review of the non-medical use of dissociative drugs". Drug Testing and Analysis. 6 (7–8): 614–632. doi:10.1002/dta.1620. PMID 24678061.
  2. Markus R. Meyer; Tina Orschiedt; Hans H. Maurer (February 2013). "Michaelis–Menten kinetic analysis of drugs of abuse to estimate their affinity to human P-glycoprotein". Toxicology Letters. 217 (2): 137–142. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.12.012. PMID 23273999.
  3. 1 2 Carina S. D. Wink; Golo M. J. Meyer; Dirk K. Wissenbach; Andrea Jacobsen-Bauer; Markus R. Meyer; Hans H. Maurer (October 2014). "Lefetamine-derived designer drugs N-ethyl-1,2-diphenylethylamine (NEDPA) and N-iso-propyl-1,2-diphenylethylamine (NPDPA): Metabolism and detectability in rat urine using GC-MS, LC-MSn and LC-HR-MS/MS". Drug Testing and Analysis. 6 (10): 1038–1048. doi:10.1002/dta.1621. PMID 24591097.
  4. Carina S.D. Wink; Golo M.J. Meyer; Markus R. Meyer; Hans H. Maurer (November 2015). "Toxicokinetics of lefetamine and derived diphenylethylamine designer drugs – Contribution of human cytochrome P450 isozymes to their main phase I metabolic steps". Toxicology Letters. 238 (3): 39–44. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2015.08.012. PMID 26276083.
  5. Nancy M. Gray; Brian K. Cheng (6 April 1994). "Patent EP 0346791 - 1,2-diarylethylamines for treatment of neurotoxic injury". G.D. Searle, LLC via SureChEMBL.
  6. Michael L. Berger; Anna Schweifer; Patrick Rebernik; Friedrich Hammerschmidt (May 2009). "NMDA receptor affinities of 1,2-diphenylethylamine and 1-(1,2-diphenylethyl)piperidine enantiomers and of related compounds". Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 17 (1): 3456–3462. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2009.03.025. PMID 19345586.
  7. Jason Wallach; Pierce V. Kavanagh; Gavin McLaughlin; Noreen Morris; John D. Power; Simon P. Elliott; Marion S. Mercier; David Lodge; Hamilton Morris; Nicola M. Dempster; Simon D. Brandt (May 2015). "Preparation and characterization of the 'research chemical' diphenidine, its pyrrolidine analogue, and their 2,2-diphenylethyl isomers". Drug Testing and Analysis. 7 (5): 358–367. doi:10.1002/dta.1689. PMID 25044512.
  8. Thurkauf, Andrew; Monn, James; Mattson, Marienna V.; Jacobson, Arthur E.; Rice, Kenner C. (1989). "Structural and conformational aspects of the binding of aryl-alkyl amines to the phencyclidine binding site" (PDF). NIDA research monograph. 95: 51–56. ISSN 1046-9516. PMID 2561843.
  9. Goodson, L. H.; Wiegand, C. J. W.; Splitter, Janet S. (November 1946). "Analgesics. I. N-Alkylated-1,2-diphenylethylamines Prepared by the Leuckart Reaction". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 68 (11): 2174–2175. doi:10.1021/ja01215a018. PMID 21002222.
  10. Kang, Heather; Park, Pojeong; Bortolotto, Zuner A.; Brandt, Simon D.; Colestock, Tristan; Wallach, Jason; Collingridge, Graham L.; Lodge, David (2016). "Ephenidine: A new psychoactive agent with ketamine-like NMDA receptor antagonist properties". Neuropharmacology. 112 (Pt A): 144–149. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.08.004. PMC 5084681. PMID 27520396.
  11. Carina S. D. Wink; Golo M. J. Meyer; Josef Zapp; Hans H. Maurer (February 2015). "Lefetamine, a controlled drug and pharmaceutical lead of new designer drugs: synthesis, metabolism, and detectability in urine and human liver preparations using GC-MS, LC-MSn, and LC-high resolution-MS/MS". Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 407 (6): 1545–1557. doi:10.1007/s00216-014-8414-3. PMID 25577353.
  12. "Ephenidine reaction results with various reagent tests". Reagent Tests UK. 17 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  13. "23 nya ämnen kan klassas som narkotika eller hälsofarlig vara" (in Swedish). Folkhälsomyndigheten. 1 June 2015.
  14. Denis Arsenault (1 June 2016). "Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Parts G and J — Lefetamine, AH-7921, MT-45 and W-18)". Canada Gazette. Government of Canada. 150 (11).
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