Beyond Ketamine and Phencyclidine: Analytically Confirmed Use of Multiple Novel Arylcyclohexylamines

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2017 Sep-Oct;49(4):289-293. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2017.1333660. Epub 2017 Jun 7.


Background: Methoxetamine and 3-methoxy-phencyclidine are novel arylcyclohexylamines whose use and clinical toxicity are poorly reported in the medical literature. We report a case of analytically confirmed use of both methoxetamine and 3-methoxy-phencyclidine.

Case report: A 27-year-old male presented 10 hours after insufflating an Internet-obtained powder. He was hypertensive, tachycardic, and demonstrated dissociated affect, a delayed verbal response to questions, ataxia, and vertical nystagmus. A urine drug screen was positive for phencyclidine and 11-nor-delta9-THC-9-carboxylic acid. He was admitted and his mental status and blood pressure normalized eight hours later. Blood samples (0, 2, and 3 hours from arrival) and the powders were analyzed by liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Methoxetamine and 3-methoxy-phencyclidine were detected in all samples (279 ng/ml, 205 ng/ml, and 180 ng/ml for methoxetamine; 167 ng/mL, 131 ng/mL, and 90 ng/ml for 3-methoxy-phencyclidine at 0, 2, and 3 hours, respectively). No phencyclidine or tetrahydrocannabinol was detected. Two powders contained methoxetamine while one contained 3-methoxy-phencyclidine.

Conclusion: The literature regarding methoxetamine and 3-methoxy-phencyclidine toxicity is limited. Methoxetamine use is associated with altered mental status, ataxia, and hypertension. Toxicity from 3-methoxy-phencyclidine is poorly described. There is no prior case describing serial qualitative analysis. Health care providers should be aware of the novel arylcyclohexylamines and their toxicity.

Keywords: 3-methoxyphencyclidine; arylcyclohexylamine; methoxetamine; novel psychoactive substances.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cyclohexanones / blood
  • Cyclohexylamines / blood
  • Dronabinol / blood
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Ketamine / blood*
  • Male
  • Phencyclidine / blood*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods


  • Cyclohexanones
  • Cyclohexylamines
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Ketamine
  • Dronabinol
  • Phencyclidine
  • 2-(3-methoxyphenyl)-2-(ethylamino)cyclohexanone