As a result, using this substance is strongly discouraged. It is also advised to always test your MDMA for the presence of PMA using a reagent testing kit as it is a common adulterant. Please see this section for more details.
|Summary sheet: PMA|
|Common names||PMA, 4-MA, Death|
|Routes of Administration|
para-Methoxyamphetamine (also known as 4-methoxyamphetamine, 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 or entactogen effects, nor euphoria. 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 or correcting it.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), a research literature based on collected anecdotal reports and the personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be regarded with a healthy degree of skepticism. It is worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce a full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely with higher doses and may include addiction, serious injury, or death ☠.
- Stimulation - In terms of its effects on the user's physical energy levels, PMA 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.
There are currently no anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index. Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
This toxicity and harm potential section is a stub.
As a result, it may contain incomplete or even dangerously wrong information. You can help by expanding upon 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 reasonably safe to use on their own, they can suddenly become dangerous or even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The following list includes some known dangerous combinations (although it is not guaranteed to include all of them). Independent research (e.g. Google, DuckDuckGo) should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some of the listed interactions have been sourced from TripSit.
- Alcohol - Drinking alcohol on stimulants is considered risky because it reduces the sedative effects of the alcohol that the body uses to gauge drunkenness. This often leads to excessive drinking with greatly reduced inhibitions, increasing the risk of liver damage and increased dehydration. The effects of stimulants will also allow one to drink past a point where they 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.
- GHB/GBL - Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of sedatives. If the stimulant wears off first then the depressant effects of the GHB/GBL may overcome the user and cause respiratory arrest.
- 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.
- 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 generally considered unnecessary and may increase strain on the heart, as well as potentially causing anxiety and physical discomfort.
- Tramadol - Tramadol and stimulants both increase the risk of seizures.
- DXM - Both substances raise heart rate, in extreme cases, panic attacks caused by these substances have led to more serious heart issues.
- Ketamine - No unexpected interactions. 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 - Increases risk of tachycardia, hypertension, and manic states.
- Methoxetamine - Increases risk of tachycardia, hypertension, and manic states.
- Psychedelics - Increases risk of anxiety, paranoia, and thought loops.
- 25x-NBOMe - Amphetamines and NBOMes both provide considerable stimulation that 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.
- Cannabis - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops and paranoia which can lead to negative experiences.
- Psilocybin mushrooms
- MAOIs - MAO-B inhibitors can increase the potency and duration of phenethylamines unpredictably. MAO-A inhibitors with amphetamine can lead to hypertensive crises.
Internationally, PMA is a Schedule I substance under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
- Austria: PMA is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich) | 
- Brazil: Possession, production and sale is illegal as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
- Canada: PMA is a Schedule I substance.
- Germany: PMA is controlled under Anlage I BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule I) as of September 1, 1984. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
- Russia: PMA is classed as a Schedule I substance.
- Switzerland: PMA is a controlled substance specifically named under Verzeichnis D.
- United Kingdom: PMA is a Class A drug.
- United States: PMA is a Schedule I substance.
- "List of psychotropic substances under international control (Green List)" (PDF) (23rd ed.). International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). August 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2007.
- 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
- "Erste Verordnung zur Änderung betäubungsmittelrechtlicher Vorschriften" (in German). Bundesanzeiger Verlag. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
- "Anlage I BtMG" (in German). Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
- "§ 29 BtMG" (in German). Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
- Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation | https://www.consultant.ru/cons/cgi/online.cgi?req=doc&base=LAW&n=314201&fld=134&dst=100034,0&rnd=0.41568319511755825#047741519652799347
- "Verordnung des EDI über die Verzeichnisse der Betäubungsmittel, psychotropen Stoffe, Vorläuferstoffe und Hilfschemikalien" (in German). Bundeskanzlei [Federal Chancellery of Switzerland]. Retrieved January 1, 2020.