Desoxypipradrol was developed by the pharmaceutical company CIBA (now called Novartis) in the 1950s, and researched for applications such as the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD; however, it was dropped from development after the related drug methylphenidate was developed by the same company. Methylphenidate was felt to be the superior drug for treating ADHD due to its shorter duration of action and more predictable pharmacokinetics, and while desoxypipradrol was researched for other applications (such as facilitation of rapid recovery from anaesthesia), its development was not continued. The hydroxylated derivative pipradrol was, however, introduced as a clinical drug indicated for depression, narcolepsy and cognitive enhancement in organic dementia.
As of the 4th November 2010, the UKHome Office announced a ban on the importation of 2-DPMP, following a recommendation from the ACMD.
Prior to the import ban, desoxypipradrol was sold as a 'legal high' in several products, most notably "Ivory wave". Its use lead to several Emergency Department visits which prompted the UK government to commission a review from the ACMD. One man had ingested nearly 1 gram of the drug which may have been fatal without sedation with an anaesthetic dose of a benzodiazepine administered in accident and emergency.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs stated in their report  that:
"there are serious harms associated with 2-DPMP... typically prolonged agitation (lasting up to 5 days after drug use which is sometimes severe, requiring physical restraint), paranoia, hallucinations and myoclonus (muscle spasms/twitches)."
2-DPMP was due to become a class B drug on the 28th March 2012, but the bill was scrapped as two steroids deemed not to be abusable were included in the bill but were later recommended to remain uncontrolled. There was a new discussion about its fate on April 23, 2012, where it was decided that the bill would be rewritten and 2-DPMP would still be banned. It was also decided that the bill would be a blanket ban of related chemicals.
Desoxypipradrol was eventually made a class B drug and placed in Schedule I on the 13th June 2012. There were no recorded deaths from the drug between the banning of its import and the banning of its possession. "Esters and ethers of pipradrol" were controlled with the same amendment as class C drugs.
^ abFerris, RM; Tang, FL (1979). "Comparison of the effects of the isomers of amphetamine, methylphenidate and deoxypipradrol on the uptake of l-3Hnorepinephrine and 3Hdopamine by synaptic vesicles from rat whole brain, striatum and hypothalamus". The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics210 (3): 422–8. PMID39160.
^Tripod J, Sury E, Hoffmann K. (1954). "Zentralerregende Wirkung eines neuen Piperidinderivates. (German)". Experientia10 (6): 261–262. doi:10.1007/BF02157398. PMID13183068.
^Bellucci, G (1955). "(2-Diphenylmethyl-piperidine hydrochloride and the methyl ester of 2-chloro-2-phenyl-2-(2-piperidyl)-acetic acid), drugs with waking effect in anesthesia.". Minerva anestesiologica21 (6): 125–8. PMID13244387.