Please note: Mephedrone is a relatively new drug. To date, there is limited evidence of how widely it is used in Australia. Due to the lack of formal research about its use and effects, much of the information used in this fact sheet has been taken from people who have used the drug, rather than from scientific sources. (This page will be updated once more information is known.)
Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and body.1 Mephedrone is classed among New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), a range of drugs that have been designed to produce effects similar to those of established illicit drugs.
It was originally marketed online as a plant fertiliser or ‘research chemical’.1
Mephedrone comes in different forms, including:
Meph, meow, meow-meow, m-cat, plant food, drone, bubbles, kitty cat.1
How is mephedrone used?
Mephedrone powder is usually sniffed/snorted or swallowed.2
Swallowing is the most common way of taking the drug. It is usually mixed with liquid to drink or wrapped in a cigarette paper (known as ‘bombing’).2
There are also reports of people injecting the drug.3
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.6
Mephedrone affects everyone differently, based on:
Injecting mephedrone can cause soft tissue and vascular damage.4
Sharing needles may also transmit:
If a large amount of mephedrone is consumed, it could cause an overdose. If any of the following effects are experienced, an ambulance should be called immediately by dialling triple zero (000).
In the days after mephedrone use, the following may be experienced:
Regular use of mephedrone may eventually cause:
Using mephedrone with other drugs
The effects of taking mephedrone with other drugs – including over-the-counter or prescribed medications – can be unpredictable and dangerous. The following combinations could have the following effects:
Giving up mephedrone after using it for a long time can be challenging because the body has to get used to functioning normally without it.
Reported symptoms include:
Reducing the risks
ADF SEARCH – Find further credible research and information on mephedrone.
1. DrugScope. (n.d.). Mephedrone, methedrone, and methylone.
2. DrugScope. (2013). Mephedrone fact sheet.
3. Injecting Advice. (2012). IV use of mephedrone.
4. Youth RISE. (n.d.). Mephedrone.
5. Maskell, P., De Paoli, G. Seneviratne, C. & Punder, D. (2011). Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone)-related deaths. Journal of Analytical Toxicology,35(3),188–9. Retrieved from Pub Med
6. DrugScience. (2012). Mephedrone.
7. Winstock, A. & Marsden, J. (2010). Mephedrone: assessment of health risks and harms. Prepared for European Monitoring centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
Reviewed: 18 March 2015