Current Issues of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences

Amphetamine in illegally produced phenylethylamine – intentional action or failed synthesis of a designer drug

Current Issues in Pharmacy and Medical Sciences Vol. 26, No. 1, Pages 16-20


Chair and Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Lublin, The Forensic Toxicology Laboratory, Lublin, Poland

DOI: 10.12923/j.2084-980X/26.1/a.03



On the Polish „drug scene”, the products containing very low amounts of amphetamine offered as „pure” amphetamine are increasingly common. Occasionally, 1-phenylethylamine (1-PEA) is added to these products. The concentration of 1-PEA in such „street drugs” usually ranges from 2% to 90%. For the purposes of the ongoing prosecutor’s proceedings, toxicological testing was performed in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Lublin to detect narcotic agents and psychotropic substances in the white powder found in 23 plastic bags. LC/MS with atmospheric pressure chemical ionization method demonstrated only trace amounts of amphetamine and about 0.042–0.231% of 1-PEA in the samples analyzed. However, characteristic by-products of the synthesis of 1-phenylethylamine from acetophenone were indentified using GC/MS with electron ionization method. Results suggest that the analyzed „street drugs” were obtained by synthesis from acetophenone with slight amounts of benzyl methyl ketone (BMK) added intentionally, or using acetophenone contaminated with BMK


amphetamine, 1-phenylethylamine, by-products of Leuckart reaction, LC/MS (APCI), GC/MS (EI)


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