Closely related to methadone, the synthetic compound levo alphacetylmethadol, or LAAM (ORLMM®), has an even longer duration of action (from 48 to 72 hours) than methadone, permitting a reduction in frequency of use. In 1994, it was approved as a Schedule II treatment drug for narcotic addiction. Both methadone and LAAM have high abuse potential. Their acceptability as narcotic treatment drugs is predicated upon their ability to substitute for heroin, the long duration of action, and their mode of oral administration.
Meperidine(Back to Top)
Introduced as an analgesic in the 1930s, meperidine produces effects that are similar, but not identical, to morphine (shorter duration of action and reduced antitussive and antidiarrheal actions). Currently it is used for pre-anesthesia and the relief of moderate to severe pain, particularly in obstetrics and post-operative situations. Meperidine is available in tablets, syrups, and injectable forms under generic and brand name (Demerol®, Mepergan®, etc.) Schedule II preparations. Several analogues of meperidine have been clandestinely produced. During the clandestine synthesis of the analogue MPPP, a neurotoxic by-product (MPTP) was produced. A number of individuals who consumed the MPPP-MPTP preparation developed an irreversible Parkinsonian-like syndrome. It was later found that MPTP destroys the same neurons as those damaged in the Parkinsonian-like syndrome. It was later found that MPTP destroys the same neurons as those damaged in Parkinsons Disease.
Meprobamate(Back to Top)
Meprobamate was introduced as an anti-anxiety agent in 1955 and is prescribed primarily to treat anxiety, tension, and associated muscle spasms. More than 50 tons are distributed annually in the United States under its generic name and brand names such as Miltown® and Equanil®. Its onset and duration of action are similar to the intermediate-acting barbiturates; however, therapeutic doses of meprobamate produce less sedation and toxicity than barbiturates. Excessive use can result in psychological and physical dependence. Carisoprodol (Soma®), a skeletal muscle relaxant, is metabolized to meprobamate. This conversion may account for some of the properties associated with carisoprodol and likely contributes to its abuse.
Methcathinone(Back to Top)Methcathinone, known on the streets as “Cat,” is a structural analogue of methamphetamine and cathinone. Clandestinely manufactured, methcathinone is almost exclusively sold in the stable and highly water soluble hydrochloride salt form. It is most commonly snorted, although it can be taken orally by mixing it with a beverage or diluted in water and injected intravenously. Methcathinone has an abuse potential equivalent to methamphetamine and produces amphetamine-like activity. It was placed in Schedule I of the CSA in 1993.