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, 37 (1), 224-230

Crystal Structures and Other Properties of Ephedrone (Methcathinone) Hydrochloride, N-acetylephedrine and N-acetylephedrone


Crystal Structures and Other Properties of Ephedrone (Methcathinone) Hydrochloride, N-acetylephedrine and N-acetylephedrone

Piotr Kuś et al. Forensic Toxicol.


Purpose: Three compounds obtained from ephedrine were identified and characterized by various instrumental analytical methods. Ephedrone (methcathinone) hydrochloride and its fundamental derivatives N-acetylephedrine and N-acetylephedrone were analyzed as precursors of a cathinone derivative.

Methods: The obtained samples were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared and Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography.

Results: The three compounds were confirmed as: N-methyl-2-amino-1-phenylpropan-1-one (methcathinone) hydrochloride, N-acetyl-N-methyl-2-amino-1-phenylpropan-1-one (cathinone derivative), and N-acetyl-N-methyl-2-amino-1-phenylpropan-1-ol (acetyl derivative of ephedrine).

Conclusions: X-ray crystallography is especially useful for identifying the new designer drugs and their different precursor forms.

Keywords: Ephedrine as synthesis precursor; Infrared spectroscopy; Methcathinone (ephedrone); NMR spectroscopy; Raman spectroscopy; X-ray crystallography.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no financial or other relations that could lead to a conflict of interest.This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Structures of N-methyl-2-amino-1-phenylpropan-1-one (ephedrone) hydrochloride (1); N-acetylephedrine (2), and N-acetyl-N-methyl-2-amino-1-phenylpropan-1-one (N-acetylephedrone) (3)
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Preparation route for compounds 13 from l-(−)-ephedrine hydrochloride
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
(S)-Enantiomer molecule of compound 1 in the crystal. Ellipsoids for non-H atoms correspond to 50% probability levels
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Packing diagram for 1: view along the b axis

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