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Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Legal status
CAS Number 1225617-18-4 YesY
1266688-86-1 (hydrochloride)
PubChem CID: 52988258
ChemSpider 25630091
Synonyms 4-methyl-N-ethylcathinone; 2-ethylamino-1-p-tolylpropan-1-one
Chemical data
Formula C12H17NO
Molecular mass 191.27 g/mol
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

4-Methylethcathinone or 4-MEC is a chemical that bears a chemical resemblance to mephedrone.[2] Due to its similarity to mephedrone, it is thought to be a stimulant and entactogen drug of the phenethylamine, amphetamine, and cathinone chemical classes.[3] It has been marketed alone or in mixtures with other substituted cathinones under the name "NRG-2", although other blends such as "NRG-1" may have been more ambiguous with their ingredients.[4]

4-MEC is reported to have been used as the active ingredient in fake "Ecstasy" pills in some countries such as New Zealand.[5]


4-MEC is a synthetic stimulant with empathogenic effects that is chemically similar to methcathinone. It became available online in 2010 and has been sold as replacement for 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone). It has an extremely short history of human use. As of 2011, it is most often found as a powder (either represented as 4-methylethcathinone or included in powder products that don't specify their active ingredients) and has appeared in some samples of "NRG-2", although it has also been found in tablet form.

Some reports of 4-methylethcathinone use involve redosing ("boosting" or "bumping") multiple times. Users sometimes mix oral and insufflated, taking some 4-methylethcathinone orally, then insufflating some, then taking more orally. Because of the common desire to recapture the pleasurable initial high, redoses are sometimes higher than the initial dose or are spaced closely together in time. Many users report having difficulty not redosing after using a strong dose if more 4-methylethcathinone is available when they are starting to come down. Experience reports in which users find themselves unexpectedly consuming a gram or more of 4-methylethcathinone are common.

Recreational use[edit]

Some users have injected the drug intravenously. This requires heating the water/4-MEC solution in order for 4-MEC to dissolve. Injecting 4-MEC appears to be rough on veins and is sometimes accompanied by a burning sensation; for this reason 4-MEC should be diluted as much as possible. Intravenous dosages are comparable to oral ones, although more care should be given to safety (with regard to possibility of overdose and long-term effects).[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ustawa z dnia 15 kwietnia 2011 r. o zmianie ustawy o przeciwdziałaniu narkomanii ( Dz.U. 2011 nr 105 poz. 614 )". Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Peter Ondra, Ivo Válka, Radim Knob, Pavlína Ginterová, Vítězslav Maier (October 2015). "Analysis of Amphetamine-Derived Designer Drugs by Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry". Journal of Analytical Toxicology. doi:10.1093/jat/bkv113. PMID 26446487. 
  3. ^ Andreas G. Helfer, Alain Turcant, David Boels, Séverine Ferec, Bénédicte Lelièvre, Jessica Welter, Markus R. Meyer, Hans H. Maurer (May 2015). "Elucidation of the metabolites of the novel psychoactive substance 4-methyl-N-ethyl-cathinone (4-MEC) in human urine and pooled liver microsomes by GC-MS and LC-HR-MS/MS techniques and of its detectability by GC-MS or LC-MSn standard screening approaches". Drug Testing and Analysis 7 (5): 368–375. doi:10.1002/dta.1682. 
  4. ^ Brandt, S. D.; Sumnall, H. R.; Measham, F.; Cole, J. (2010). "Second generation mephedrone. The confusing case of NRG-1". BMJ 341: c3564. doi:10.1136/bmj.c3564. PMID 20605894. 
  5. ^ Man in court after bust turns up drugs, cash. James Ihaka, New Zealand Herald, May 25, 2012
  6. ^ Brandt, S. D.; Sumnall, H. R.; Measham, F.; Cole, J. (August 2010). "Analyses of second-generation 'legal highs' in the UK: initial findings". Drug Testing and Analysis 2 (8): 377–382. doi:10.1002/dta.155. PMID 20687197. 
  7. ^ Jankovics, P.; Váradi, A.; Tölgyesi, L.; Lohner, S.; Németh-Palotás, J.; Koszegi-Szalai, H. (2011). "Identification and characterization of the new designer drug 4'-methylethcathinone (4-MEC) and elaboration of a novel liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) screening method for seven different methcathinone analogs". Forensic Science International 210 (1–3): 213–220. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.03.019. PMID 21498012.