|Summary sheet: PMA|
|Common names||PMA, 4-MA, Death|
|Routes of Administration|
para-Methoxyamphetamine (also known as 4-MA and PMA) is a potent hallucinogen substance of the amphetamine class. PMA belongs to a family of substances known as the substituted amphetamines. However, unlike other substituted amphetamines, PMA does not produce stimulant, entactogen, or euphoria euphoriant effects. It is not taken on its own but is instead found as an ingredient in tablets of "Ecstasy" as a false substitute for MDMA.
PMA has been around since the 1970s, where it was sold along with PMMA as Ecstasy, and has gained great attention following a number of hospitalizations and deaths. It usually does not produce much noticeable effects, which leads people ingesting more or combining it with other substances, until they eventually overdose. It produces dangerous adverse effects, including a sudden and extremely high rise in body temperature and blood pressure, abnormal heartbeats, dehydration and sometimes severe dizziness.
PMA, along with other drugs like PMMA and PMEA have very little recreational value and are considered as one of the most dangerous and toxic substances known. It is strongly recommended that these two drugs should be completely avoided.
PMA (para-Methoxyamphetamine or 4-MA) is a molecule of the amphetamine class. Molecules of the amphetamine class contain a phenethylamine core featuring a phenyl ring bound to an amino (NH2) group through an ethyl chain with an additional methyl substitution at Rα. It contains a methoxy (OCH3) functional group bound to the R4 carbon of the phenyl ring. It is the 4-Methoxy analog of amphetamine.
PMA acts as a selective serotonin releasing agent (SSRA) with weak effects on dopamine and norepinephrine transporters. However, relative to MDMA, it is considerably less effective as a releaser of serotonin with properties more akin to a reuptake inhibitor in comparison. It evokes robust hyperthermia while producing only modest hyperactivity and serotonergic neurotoxicity, substantially lower than that caused by MDMA. Anecdotal reports suggest it is not particularly euphoric at all, perhaps even dysphoric in contrast. PMA has also been shown to act as a potent, reversible inhibitor of the enzyme MAO-A with no significant effects on MAO-B, and the combination of this property and serotonin release is likely responsible for its high lethality potential.
It appears that PMA elevates body temperatures dramatically; the cause of this property is suspected to be related to its ability to inhibit MAO-A and at the same time releasing large amounts of serotonin, effectively causing serotonin syndrome. It appears that PMA activates the hypothalamus much more strongly than MDMA and other drugs like ephedrine, thereby causing rapid increases in body temperature (which is the major cause of death in PMA mortalities).
|This subjective effects section is a stub.|
As such, it is still in progress and may contain incomplete or wrong information.
You can help by expanding it.
The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. These effects should be taken with a grain of salt and will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier doses will increase the chances of inducing a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include serious injury or death.
- Stimulation - In terms of its effects on the user's physical energy levels, PMMA is commonly regarded as moderately stimulating and energetic exclusively at lower dosages.
- Abnormal heartbeat - Accelerated and abnormal heartbeats are extremely common with PMA.
- Appetite suppression
- Dizziness - This effect is significantly more common with PMA than it is with methamphetamine or MDMA
- Increased bodily temperature - The most common cause of death from PMA is due to severe hyperthermia.
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased perspiration
- Nausea and vomiting - This is common at any dose.
- Pupil dilation
- Rapid breathing - People commonly report "not being able to breathe".
- Seizures - This is significantly more common with PMMA than with almost any other substance.
- Teeth grinding
- Temporary erectile dysfunction
- Vibrating vision - This effect is generally more frequent than with MDMA.
- Anxiety or Anxiety suppression - This depends greatly on the dosage, as higher dosages are almost guaranteed to bring anxiety, due to all the adverse effects.
- Cognitive euphoria or Cognitive dysphoria - This depends greatly on the dosage, as higher dosages are almost guaranteed to bring dysphoria, due to all the adverse effects.
- Dream suppression
- Time distortion
At moderate to high dosages, PMA is capable of producing typically mild or moderate visual distortions, which are usually more common and pronounced than with MDMA, but significantly less when compared with most psychedelics, such as 2C-B or LSD.
Toxicity and harm potential
This toxicity and harm potential section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or even dangerously wrong information. You can help by expanding or correcting it.
PMA and its relative PMMA can be considered extremely toxic when compared to other substances such as Methamphetamine or MDMA. Ingestion of PMA has been associated with severe tachycardia (abnormally high heart rate), seizures, dehydration, hyperthermia, and death. PMA has a relatively slow onset, causing many users to redose which causes excess toxicity.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.
Although many psychoactive substances are safe to use on their own, they can quickly become dangerous or even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The following lists some known dangerous combinations, but may not include all of them. A combination that appears to be safe in low doses can still increase the risk of injury or death. Independent research should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some interactions listed have been sourced from Tripsit.
- Alcohol - Drinking on stimulants is risky because the sedative effects of the alcohol are reduced, and these are what the body uses to gauge drunkenness. This typically leads to excessive drinking with greatly reduced inhibitions, high risk of liver damage and increased dehydration. They will also allow you to drink past a point where you might normally pass out, increasing the risk. If you do decide to do this then you should set a limit of how much you will drink each hour and stick to it, bearing in mind that you will feel the Alcohol and the stimulant less. Extended release formulations may severely impede sleep, further worsening the hangover.
- GHB/GBL - Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of sedatives. If the stimulant wears off first then the opiate may overcome the patient and cause respiratory arrest.
- Cannabis - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences.
- Opioids - Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of opiates. If the stimulant wears off first then the opiate may overcome the patient and cause respiratory arrest.
- Tramadol - Tramadol and stimulants both increase the risk of seizures.
- DXM - Both substances raise heart rate, in extreme cases, panic attacks caused by these drugs have led to more serious heart issues.
- Ketamine - No unexpected interactions, though likely to increase blood pressure but not an issue with sensible doses. Moving around on high doses of this combination may be ill advised due to risk of physical injury.
- PCP - This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states.
- Methoxetamine - Risk of tachycardia, hypertension, and manic states.
- Cocaine - This combination of stimulants will increase strain on the heart. It is not favored as cocaine has a mild blocking effect on dopamine releasers like amphetamine.
- Caffeine - This combination of stimulants is not generally necessary and may increase strain on the heart, as well as potentially causing anxiety and greater physical discomfort.
- Psychedelics (Psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, LSD, DMT, 2C-x, DOx, 2C-T-x, 5-MeO-xxT) - The focus and anxiety enhancements caused by stimulants is magnified by psychedelics and results in an increased risk of anxiety, paranoia, and thought loops.
- 25x-NBOMe - Amphetamines and NBOMes both provide considerable stimulation. When combined they can result in tachycardia, hypertension, vasoconstriction and in extreme cases heart failure. The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants are also not good in combination with psychedelics as they can lead to unpleasant thought loops. NBOMes are known to cause seizures and stimulants can increase this risk.
- MAOIs - MAO-B inhibitors can increase the potency and duration of phenethylamines unpredictably. MAO-A inhibitors with amphetamine can lead to hypertensive crises.
- Austria: PMA is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich) | 
- Canada: PMA is a Schedule I substance.
- Brazil: Possession, production and sale is illegal as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
- United States: PMA is a Schedule I substance.
- United Kingdom: PMA is a Class A drug.
- Switzerland: PMA is illegal in Switzerland.
- SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz = Drug Law Austria | https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10011056
- Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada | http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-38.8/page-12.html