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Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Routes of
oral, intranasal
CAS Number 51553-17-4
ATC code none
Synonyms N-Ethylcathinone; 2-Ethylaminopropiophenone
Chemical data
Formula C11H15NO
Molar mass 177.3 g/mol[[Script error: No such module "String".]]
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Ethcathinone, also known as ethylpropion, is a stimulant drug of the phenethylamine, amphetamine, and cathinone chemical classes. It is an active metabolite of diethylcathinone, to which it acts as a prodrug, and is fully responsible for its effects. Ethcathinone has been identified as an ingredient in both quasi-legal "party pills",[1] and has also been reported as having been sold as "ecstasy" in the Australian city of Cairns, along with mephedrone.[2][3]


The pharmacology for ethcathinone appeared alongside other psychostimulants in a paper by Rothman and Baumann in 2006.[4] The predominant two modes of action for ethcathinone is as a moderately active releaser of noradrenaline (EC50 = 99.3 nM);[4] however it is only a relatively weak inhibitor of dopamine reuptake (Ki = 1014 nM).[4]

Since diethylcathinone appears to be an inactive prodrug and only becomes active after it has been further metabolized to ethcathinone,[4] it thereby would appear rational to consider that ethcathinone would also be expected to be N-dealkylated upon its consumption to the more active drug cathinone that is more able to reliably stimulate the release of dopamine. However, in contrast to diethylcathinone, ethcathinone is not technically a prodrug since it is already active in its own right.

Legal status

Ethcathinone, along with mephedrone and flephedrone, were banned in Denmark on December 18, 2008

See also


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  1. Camilleri A, Johnston MR, Brennan M, Davis S, Caldicott DG. Chemical analysis of four capsules containing the controlled substance analogues 4-methylmethcathinone, 2-fluoromethamphetamine, alpha-phthalimidopropiophenone and N-ethylcathinone. Forensic Science International. 2010 Jan 13. PMID 20074881
  2. Killer pills hit Cairns
  3. Police warn of potentially fatal 'fake ecstasy'
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Rothman RB, Baumann MH. Therapeutic potential of monoamine transporter substrates. Curr Top Med Chem. 2006;6(17):1845-59. PMID 17017961