New research into 'legal high' Methoxetamine

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Swedish researchers recently published a study on a fairly new - and increasingly popular - drug called Methoxetamine, or MXE.

Despite the drug's rising popularity, the researchers said most clinicians and healthcare providers are unaware of it. Yet the effects, which induce similar symptoms to those caused by ketamine, need to be understood better in order to know what interactions or side effects this substance might cause, the study reported.

Hot on the 'club drug' scene

MXE is popular as a club drug, as it provides hallucinogenic and dissociative effects. While ketamine and MXE produce similar experiences, experts say MXE is more potent and tends to last longer.

For the study, researchers obtained data from anonymous online contributors via forums, asking individuals about MXE use.

Results showed that the drug also induced altered states of consciousness, much like those experienced by individuals taking hallucinogens like LSD or psilocybin.

'Under the radar'

The drug is often packaged like a supplement and easily found online. Yet doctors report that the drug has serious consequences, like toxicity to the brain that renders you unable to walk or think. Suicidal thoughts are also a risk, said Dr. Mike Cirigliano, a Philidelphia-based physician.

"Methoxetamine is a nightmare from Hell. It's trouble with a capital T. It's a problem waiting to happen."

Researchers said the study's reliance on Internet forums is clearly a limitation, and that more knowledge is needed in the form of clinical studies on MXE.

Source: Science Daily, My Fox Philly

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