Mephedrone is a cathinone with amphetamine-like stimulant effects, and is a commonly used recreational drug. The adverse effects of mephedrone use have not been extensively studied. All individuals who self-presented between January and June 2010 to the emergency departments and acute mental health services in Edinburgh and Falkirk with adverse effects of self-reported mephedrone use were identified.
Twenty cases were identified and analysed. Severe agitation was the most common presenting problem (70%), with 40% of individuals developing psychotic symptoms and a further 20% reporting low mood and suicidality. One person died by suicide.
Mephedrone can produce amphetamine-like adverse psychological intoxication effects, particularly in those with a history of mental illness. Clinicians should consider advising patients on the adverse effects of mephedrone, where relevant.