- 1 Also known as
- 2 Classification
- 3 Overview
- 4 Medical usage
- 5 What does it look like?
- 6 Why take it?
- 7 Dosage
- 8 How long do its effects last?
- 9 Pharmacology
- 10 Mode of use
- 11 Effects
- 12 Risks
- 13 Dangerous interactions
- 14 Legality
- 15 Harm reduction
- 16 History
- 17 References
Also known as
Alpha, alpha-meth, indopan, amtrak, amthrax, trymene, 164E, 3-IT, IT-290, IT-403, αMT
AMT (Alpha-methyltryptamine) is a stimulant of the tryptamine type. It was originally investigated for its anti-depressant properties, but the effects proved disappointing and it was soon abandoned. Some people take it for its stimulating effects .
AMT (or αMT) is a long-acting psychedelic and euphoric synthetic stimulant that is chemically related to the tryptamines and effectually similar to amphetamines. Although it was quickly disregarded as a pharmaceutical product, AMT quickly gained a small but enduring reputation as a recreational stimulant and continues to be used in waves of popularity. Due to its very slow onset and low dose thresholds users must be very cautious when first using it .
aMT is a powerful hallicinogen with some simulant effects that can make you -
- feel euphoric, upbeat and friendly to those around you,
- see illusions/distorted perceptions (and sometimes frightening hallucinations when you see and hear things that aren't there),
- feel anxious and panicky .
aMT is very active in small doses which means it's easy to take too much and overdose, this can lead to you becoming agitated and having bad experiences like anxiety attacks.
aMT was tested as a potential antidepressant in the sixties but there is actually little information about its harms, especially any long-term harm. It's difficult to know how any regular users will be affected if they use it for a long time.
There is also a slight risk that aMT will react with other medicines and a range of foods to cause dangerous increases in blood pressure (for example, certain SSRI anti-depressants, some wines and cheeses, or with Bovril or Marmite) .
A stimulant and psychoactive drug which produces effects similar to 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), despite being structurally dissimilar .
What does it look like?
Why take it?
Sought after effects
- mood enhancement,
- empathogenic properties,
- occasional audio and visual experiences .
- blurred vision,
- vomiting (common),
- tension headaches,
- occasional muscular aches .
- threshold - 5 - 10 mg,
- light - 10 - 25 mg , 15 - 25 mg .
- common - 25 - 40 mg , .
- strong - 40 - 60 mg , .
- heavy - 60 - 80 mg , 60mg + .
How long do its effects last?
Onset of effects
- oral - 4 - 6 hours .
Duration of effects
Alpha-methyltryptamine is a variant of tryptamine with a methyl substituent on the alpha carbon. It acts as both a MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), which is how it was first proposed to work as an anti-depressant, and as a non-selective serotonin receptor agonist. It appears to work relatively equally as a reuptake inhibitor and releasing agent of the main three monoamines (dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin).
Despite similarities in effect to MDMA, they are not chemically closely related, with AMT having a similar relationship to tryptamine as amphetamine has to phenethylamine.
AMT is pharmacologically active at doses as low as 5mg and it can take as long as 3 hours for the initial effects to be felt when used recreationally, meaning inexperienced users are sometimes at risk of believing the substance has not worked and re-dosing too early .
αMT's psychedelic effects are believed to come from its efficacy at the 5-HT2A receptor as a partial agonist.
αMT also acts as a releasing agent of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine , . It also acts as a very weak, non-selective RIMA in-vitro  and in-vivo , but this is unlikely to be very significant (if at all) with common doses.
However, the role of these interactions and how they result in the psychedelic experience continues to remain elusive .
Long lasting serotonin neuro-toxicity at high doses is potentially possible, and is seen with a close analogue of alpha-methyltryptmaine: alpha-ethyltryptamine .
Mode of use
Swallowed (either in wraps or capsules) or insufflated, very rarely smoked/vaped . The capsules and pellets are swallowed and the powder can be dissolved in water or other drinks, snorted, bombed or smoked .
- pupil dilation,
- spontaneous physical sensations,
- difficulty urinating,
- increased blood pressure,
- increased heart rate,
- increased perspiration,
- nausea .
- cognitive euphoria,
- conceptual thinking,
- time distortion,
- analysis enhancement,
- emotionality enhancement,
- immersion enhancement,
- increased music appreciation,
- thought acceleration,
- thought connectivity,
- memory suppression .
- acuity enhancement,
- colour enhancement,
- pattern recognition enhancement,
- after images,
- colour shifting,
- scenery slicing,
- symmetrical texture repetition,
- autonomous entities,
- internal hallucinations,
- perspective alterations,
- scenarios and plots,
- settings, sceneries, and landscapes,
- transformations .
- auditory distortion,
- auditory enhancement,
- auditory hallucinations .
- increase in energy,
- mood lift, smiling,
- visual patterning and closed eye visuals,
- increased awareness and appreciation of music,
- empathogenic qualities .
- general change in consciousness (as with most psychoactives),
- blurred vision,
- dilated pupils,
- decreased appetite,
- dry mouth, overstimulated taste, and resulting difficulty eating,
- extreme, vision-obscuring visuals at high doses : "obnoxiously visual" .
- decrease in coordination,
- muscle aching,
- extreme confusion at high doses .
Like any drug, taking aMT does involve risks. Here's what it may do to you -
- you might feel anxious, restless or aggressive,
- you might feel unwell, like you have a fever, have abnormal sweating, vomit or you may have a headache,
- your heart may beat very quickly or irregularly which can be dangerous,
- aMT can cause hallucinations which means you may see or hear things that aren't there. This can sometimes be quite scary and confusing known as a bad trip. Good trips can be amusing and pleasant but you can't be sure whether you'll have a good or bad trip,
- you might be at risk of harm as a result of fear and hallucinations,
- it is easy to overdose on aMT because compared to many other powder drugs, you only need to take a small amount for it to have a substantial effect,
- there is a small possibility that aMT may react with certain medicines and some foods (like certain wines and cheeses, or with Bovril or Marmite). This can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure,
- we know that some drugs can irritate and damage the lining of the nose, stomach and lungs depending on how they are taken. aMT may cause similar damage but more research is needed to see whether this is the case .
- MAOIs - aMT is an MAOI on its own. Using enzyme inhibitors can greatly reduce predictability of effects.
- SSRIs .
- Cannabis - Cannabis has an unexpectedly strong and somewhat unpredictable synergy with psychedelics. Small amounts can reduce nausea with aMT but take care.
- Caffeine - High doses of caffeine may cause anxiety which is less manageable when tripping, and since both are stimulating the combination may cause some physical discomfort.
- Alcohol - aMT has a broad mechanism of action in the brain and so does alcohol so the combination can be unpredictable .
aMT became a Class A drug In January 2015. This means that it is illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell -
- possession of aMT can get you up to seven years in jail and/or an unlimited fine,
- supplying someone else, even your friends, with aMT can get you up to life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine .
What if you're caught?
If the Police catch you with aMT, they'll always take some action. This could include a formal caution, arrest and prosecution.
A conviction for a drug-related offence could have a serious impact. It can stop you visiting certain countries - for example the United States - and limit the types of jobs you can apply for .
Did you know?
- mixing drugs with driving is illegal and can be very dangerous. It may lead to you having an accident and injuring yourself or your friends,
- you could still be unfit to drive the day after using aMT,
- you can get a heavy fine, be disqualified from driving or even go to prison if you take aMT and it affects how you drive .
AMT is active at very low doses (under 10mg) when taken orally, and individual tolerance will depend on factors such as age, sex, weight and frequency of use. It also takes far longer than similar substances to take effect, with the onset often not happening for greater than one hour. It is therefore extremely important not to assume that you've taken a dud and re-dose too quickly.
When smoked (which is rare), AMT is active at even lower doses, as little as 2 - 5mg, but will take effect quicker (usually within half an hour).
It is fairly common for AMT to produce sensations of nausea, and these can quite often lead to vomiting, particularly amongst inexperienced users. If this happens to you or someone you are with, make sure they are conscious and able to respond (if not make sure they do not swallow their sick and call an ambulance) and try to get them to drink some water to replace lost fluids.
As it is so long-acting, it is not uncommon for the main effects to continue for many hours, possibly into the following day, after consumption. If someone is still under the effect of the substance make sure they do not drive or operate machinery, and if possible keep them resting until they have fully come down.
AMT acts as a weak MAOI, so be especially careful if you are taking any anti-depressants, and do not take with any other MAOIs.
As with all illegal substances -
Mixing with other drugs and alcohol should be avoided or kept within the user's own known limits.
Be aware that sharing with mates is a serious offence.
Try not to use alone - at the very least make sure someone knows where you are, and don't use alone in a locked room or isolated place .
It was first experimented with in the 1960's by The Upjohn Company (now a subsidiary of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals) but the results were disappointing and interest was soon dropped. It continued to be marketed for some time in the Soviet Union under the trade name Indopan but had fallen out of use by the 1970's.
As a recreational drug its use remained very marginal from the 1960's - 90's, when it experienced an upsurge in popularity linked to the clubbing scene and other stimulant-type drugs associated with that subculture. It was deemed significant enough to be scheduled in the US in 2003 but due to remaining relatively uncommon in Europe remained uncontrolled in the UK until 2015 .
It was originally developed in the USA in the 60's by the Upjohn company during research into anti-depressants, and the alpha-ethylated homologue became available as a commercial anti-depressant in the US (under the name Monase). However, αMT itself was available during the 60's for use as an anti-depressant in 5 and 10mg doses in the Soviet Union, sold under the brand name Indopan.
As with many research chemicals it was examined by Alexander Shulgin and details of its effects and synthesis were described in the book TiHKAL. Both during his own experiences noted in the entry, and in his further notes drawing from the experiences of others he concludes that the chemical seems to have a wide variation in many of its properties between users and even individual experiences - particularly in effects and onset.
It was one of the first 'research chemicals' which became widely available on the internet during the 1990's, and as a result became illegal in the USA in 2003. The drug remained relatively obscure up until this point, though it was used in certain psychotherapeutic studies during the 60's, and there are some reports which suspect recreational use took place as early as the 1960's, as a result of the chemical supply for these studies being diverged.
With the rising popularity of research chemical use on the internet during the 21st century, it has seen increasing levels of use - and while it remains legal in most countries in the world recent efforts have been made by certain governments to illegalise it .
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- αMT, 2017, http://drugs.tripsit.me/amt
- AMT, 2017, https://wiki.tripsit.me/wiki/AMT
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