Fatal intoxication with PMMA – a novel designer analogue of amphetamine

Barbara Potocka-Banaś, Tomasz Janus, Sławomir Majdanik, Krzysztof Borowiak


Introduction: New designer drugs of the amphetamine class like 4-methoxyamphetamine (PMA) and 4-methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) elicit psychoactive effects in the central nervous system (CNS) by enhancing monoaminergic neurotransmission. These substances are substrates for neurotransmitter transporter proteins, and after binding with them they penetrate inside the cells. PMA and PMMA also reverse the transport of endogenic neurotransmitters and stimulate their increased release into the synaptic gap. PMMA has a weaker psychostimulating effect and a stronger hallucinogenic effect than PMA.

Materials and methods: The article presents the case of fatal PMMA intoxication in a 28-year-old man. The post-mortem forensic toxicological analysis of collected blood samples was performed using the LC/MS/MS technique. The analysis detected 213 ng/mL of amphetamine, 270 ng/mL of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy), and 4585 ng/mL of PMMA.

Results: The cause of death was acute multiple organ failure resulting from heavy intoxication with psychoactive substances, particularly with PMMA.


PMMA; fatal intoxication; LC/MS/MS.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21164/pomjlifesci.641

Copyright (c) 2019 Barbara Potocka-Banaś, Tomasz Janus, Sławomir Majdanik, Krzysztof Borowiak

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/pl/