3-Methoxyphencyclidine (3-MeO-PCP) belongs to the arylcyclohexylamine class and is a dissociative hallucinogenic substance closely related to phencyclidine (PCP). It has been available for purchase online as a designer drug. This compound primarily functions as an antagonist of the NMDA receptor. Additionally, it has been observed to interact with the sigma σ1 receptor and the serotonin transporter. Importantly, 3-MeO-PCP does not exhibit any opioid-related effects, nor does it act as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

IUPAC name
CAS Number72242-03-6 
91164-58-8 (hydrochloride)
PubChem CID11778080
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)DTXSID50222578
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass273.420 g·mol−1


3-MeO-PCP exhibits distinct binding affinities at various receptor sites. It displays a Ki of 20 nM for the dizocilpine (MK-801) site of the NMDA receptor, 216 nM for the serotonin transporter (SERT), and 42 nM for the sigma σ1 receptor. Notably, it does not engage with the norepinephrine or dopamine transporter nor with the sigma σ2 receptor (Ki >10,000 nM).
Interestingly, due to its structural resemblance to 3-hydroxy-PCP (3-HO-PCP), which, unlike other arylcyclohexylamines, exhibits high affinity for the μ-opioid receptor alongside the NMDA receptor, there was an initial expectation that 3-MeO-PCP might have opioid-related properties. Nevertheless, radioligand binding assays involving human proteins have contradicted this assumption, revealing that the drug does not interact with the μ-, δ-, or κ-opioid receptors even at concentrations of up to 10,000 nM. Consequently, the idea that 3-MeO-PCP possesses opioid activity has been discredited as a misconception.
Furthermore, 3-MeO-PCP exhibits a notably higher binding affinity to the NMDA receptor compared to PCP and surpasses both 2-MeO-PCP and 4-MeO-PCP in this regard, making it the most potent among the three isomeric anisyl-substituted PCP derivatives.


The hydrochloride form of 3-MeO-PCP appears as a white crystalline solid, and it exhibits a melting point within the range of 204 to 205 °C.


3-MeO-PCP was initially synthesized in 1979 with the primary purpose of exploring the structure-activity relationships of phencyclidine (PCP) derivatives. However, its effects in humans remained undocumented until 1999 when a chemist using the pseudonym John Q. Beagle reported that 3-MeO-PCP displayed qualitative similarities to PCP, possessing similar potency.
Before the introduction of 3-MeO-PCP, the less potent dissociative compound 4-MeO-PCP had already been in existence. 3-MeO-PCP later became available as a research chemical in 2011.

Society and culture

United Kingdom:
On October 18, 2012, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the United Kingdom published a report regarding methoxetamine, recommending that it be classified as a Class B substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971). Furthermore, the report suggested that all analogs of MXE, including 3-MeO-PCP, should also be categorized as Class B drugs, incorporating a catch-all provision encompassing both known and unexplored arylcyclohexylamines.
United States:
In the United States, 3-MeO-PCP is not currently classified as a controlled substance. Nevertheless, the possession or distribution of 3-MeO-PCP for human use could potentially lead to prosecution under the Federal Analogue Act due to its structural and pharmacological similarities to PCP.
Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act has long placed all analogs, derivatives, salts, and related compounds of PCP under Schedule 1, alongside substances like opioids and cocaine. Consequently, 3-MeO-PCP is automatically prohibited, even though it is not explicitly mentioned by name in the schedule. PCP and Ketamine are the only specific substances listed.
On November 10, 2014, Sweden’s public health agency recommended classifying 3-MeO-PCP as a hazardous substance.
Czech Republic:
3-MeO-PCP is prohibited in the Czech Republic.
According to Chile’s Ley de drogas, or Ley 20000, all esters and ethers of PCP are considered illegal. As 3-MeO-PCP is an ether of PCP, it is, therefore, illegal under Chilean law.
3-MeO-PCP does not fall into the category of salt or isomer of PCP, and as such, it is not considered illegal in Portugal.


1. What is 3-MeO-PCP?

3-MeO-PCP, short for 3-Methoxyphencyclidine, is a synthetic compound belonging to the arylcyclohexylamine class. It is known for its dissociative hallucinogenic effects and is chemically related to phencyclidine (PCP).

2. How is 3-MeO-PCP used?

3-MeO-PCP is typically consumed orally, intranasally (snorting), or by vaporization. Users often take it for recreational purposes, although its legality varies by country.

3. What are the effects of 3-MeO-PCP?

The effects of 3-MeO-PCP include dissociation from reality, altered perception, hallucinations, and changes in sensory perception. Users may also experience impaired motor skills and cognitive functioning.

4. Is 3-MeO-PCP legal?

The legal status of 3-MeO-PCP varies from country to country. In some places, it is classified as a controlled substance, while in others, it may be unregulated. Always check your local laws and regulations.

5. Are there any known risks or side effects?

3-MeO-PCP use can lead to adverse effects, including disorientation, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and impaired judgment. It may also have potential long-term effects on mental health. The substance can be addictive and should be used with caution.

6. Can 3-MeO-PCP be detected in drug tests?

3-MeO-PCP can show up in drug tests that specifically screen for it. Standard drug tests typically do not detect it, but specialized tests can identify its presence.

7. What precautions should I take if I plan to use 3-MeO-PCP?

If you choose to use 3-MeO-PCP, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks and start with a low dose. Use it in a safe and controlled environment, and never mix it with other substances. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while under its influence.

8. Can I use 3-MeO-PCP for medical purposes?

3-MeO-PCP is not approved for medical use, and self-medicating with this substance is strongly discouraged due to the potential risks and lack of scientific evidence supporting its therapeutic applications.

9. Is 3-MeO-PCP addictive?

There is evidence to suggest that 3-MeO-PCP can be habit-forming, and chronic use may lead to dependence. It is essential to use this substance responsibly and in moderation.

10. Where can I get more information about 3-MeO-PCP?

For more detailed information about 3-MeO-PCP, its effects, legal status, and risks, consider consulting with a healthcare professional or referring to authoritative sources like scientific literature, government health agencies, and reputable drug education websites.


  1. Morris H and Wallach J, in their 2014 study, provided a comprehensive review of the non-medical use of dissociative drugs, spanning from PCP to MXE. This research delved into the evolving landscape of these substances and their effects on users, shedding light on the world of dissociative compounds.
  2. Roth BL, Gibbons S, Arunotayanun W, Huang XP, Setola V, Treble R, and Iversen L’s 2013 study unearthed intriguing insights into the ketamine analogue methoxetamine, along with 3- and 4-methoxy analogues of phencyclidine. These compounds were found to be high-affinity and selective ligands for the glutamate NMDA receptor, contributing to our understanding of their pharmacological properties.
  3. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the United Kingdom released a significant report in 2012, classifying methoxetamine as a substance with harms equivalent to Class B under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971). This report also recommended considering all analogues of MXE, including 3-MeO-PCP, as Class B drugs, emphasizing the need for regulatory action.
  4. An insightful interview with a ketamine chemist, as featured in Vice Magazine in 2011, offered a unique perspective on the world of arylcyclohexylamine chemistry. This interview provided valuable insights into the creation and development of substances like 3-MeO-PCP.
  5. Wallach J, De Paoli G, Adejare A, and Brandt S conducted a study in 2013 focused on the preparation and analytical characterization of 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl)piperidine (PCP) and 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl)pyrrolidine (PCPy) analogues. This research contributed to our understanding of the chemical properties and structural variations of these compounds.
  6. Morris H and Wallach J revisited the topic in 2014 with another study that presented an extensive review of the non-medical use of dissociative drugs, further expanding our knowledge of these substances and their impact on users.
  7. The Government of Canada enforces the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which classifies PCP analogues as Schedule 1 substances, making substances like 3-MeO-PCP automatically banned within the country.
  8. In Sweden, the public health agency suggested classifying 3-MeO-PCP as a hazardous substance on November 10, 2014, raising awareness about its potential risks.
  9. The Czech Republic has placed 3-MeO-PCP on the list of banned psychotropic substances, emphasizing the need for regulation and control.
  10. Chile has made esters and ethers of PCP illegal under its Ley de drogas, including 3-MeO-PCP, due to its classification as an ether of PCP.
  11. In Portugal, 3-MeO-PCP escapes legal classification due to its distinction as neither a salt nor an isomer of PCP.

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