Also known as





mCPP is a recreational drug that has effects similar to MDMA (Ecstasy). It is also often found in Ecstasy pills. mCPP's full name is m-chlorophenylpiperazine. It was a research chemical initially synthesised in the late 1970's as a potential anti-depressant. The drug has never been licenced for medical use, but is known to metabolite some anti-depressants. Recreational use was first reported across Europe and many other countries in the mid-2000's due to an eruption of the substance being sold as a 'designer drug' that mimicked the effects of MDMA. mCPP is another stimulant that is also found regularly in ecstasy pills [1].

What does it look like?

Small, white, usually round pills, or a white powder [1].

Why take it?

Sought after effects

  • sense of euphoria,
  • feelings of empathy [1].

Undesired effects

  • raised blood pressure,
  • raised body temperature,
  • 'comedown' (usually depressed and tired feeling) as effects wear off [1].




  • threshold - 15 - 20 mg,
  • light - 20 - 50 mg,
  • common - 50 - 120 mg,
  • strong - 120 - 150 mg,
  • heavy - 150 mg + [2].

How long do its effects last?

Onset of effects

  • oral - 20 - 60 minutes [2].


  • oral - 2 - 4 hours [2].


The piperazines are a large group of chemicals. The focus here will be on the recreationally used derivatives, that is the benzylpiperazines (i.e. BZP) and the methylenedioxy derivatives (e.g. TFMPP, mCPP, MeOPP), the latter being most similar to MDMA as its name suggests.

There is very little pharmacological research on this group currently, and most of the studies that do exist look predominantly at BZP, TFMPP, mCPP as these are the most commonly used substances. mCPP interacts with a wider array of receptors and transmitters, mainly serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine. This is why the euphoric and hallucinogenic effects are seen to be similar to MDMA. mCPP may also cause serotonin syndrome. This is a very high level of serotonin build-up which causes the user to experience fever-like symptoms and can sometimes be fatal [1].

mCPP acts as an agonist at the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, 5-HT2C, 5-HT3 and 5-HT7 receptors, as well as inhibiting the serotonin transporter [3]. Substances that act at the 5-HT2B receptor, most notably fenfluramine, can cause significant heart problems which can be fatal in some individuals [4]. mCPP's action at the 5-HT2A receptor may explain its psychedelic-like effects.

mCPP is an active metabolite of the antidepressant trazodone [5], [2].


Physical effects

  • pupil dilation,
  • perception of bodily heaviness,
  • stimulation,
  • appetite suppression,
  • abnormal heartbeat,
  • dehydration,
  • difficulty urinating,
  • headaches,
  • nausea,
  • teeth grinding,
  • temporary erectile dysfunction,
  • vasoconstriction [2].

Cognitive effects

  • anxiety,
  • cognitive dysphoria,
  • depression,
  • feelings of impending doom,
  • decreased libido [2].

Visual effects

  • drifting,
  • tracers [2].

Dangerous interactions

mCPP is metabolised by cytochrome P450 2D6 [6], and concurrently taking inhibitors of that enzyme results in increased serum levels of mCPP. Commonly encounter inhibitors of CYP2D6 include ciprofloxacin, bupropion (Wellbutrin), fluoxetine (Prozac) and grapefruit juice [7].

Although many drugs are safe on their own, they can become dangerous and even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The list below contains some common potentially dangerous combinations, but may not include all of them. Certain combinations may be safe in low doses of each but still increase the potential risk of death. Independent research should always be done to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption [2].

  • 25x-NBOMe - Both the NBOMe series and this compound induce powerful stimulation and their interaction may cause severe side-effects. These can include thought loops, seizures, increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, increased heart rate, and heart failure (in extreme cases).
  • Alcohol - It is dangerous to combine alcohol, a depressant, with stimulants due to the risk of excessive intoxication. Stimulants decrease the sedative effect of alcohol which is the main factor most people consider when determining their level of intoxication. Once the stimulant wears off, the effects of alcohol will be significantly increased, leading to intensified disinhibition as well as respiratory depression. If combined, one should strictly limit themselves to only drinking a certain amount of alcohol per hour.
  • DXM - This combination may cause increased heart rate and panic attacks.
  • MXE - Increased heart rate and blood pressure may occur.
  • Tramadol - This combination can increase the risk of seizures.
  • MAOIs - This combination may increase the amount of neurotransmitters such as dopamine to dangerous or even fatal levels. Examples include syrian rue, banisteriopsis caapi, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7, αMT, and some antidepressants [8].
  • Cocaine - This combination may increase strain on the heart [2].


  • αMT,
  • Tramadol - Tramadol and stimulants both increase the risk of seizures.
  • MAOIs - MAO-B inhibitors can increase the potency and duration of phenethylamines unpredictably. MAO-A inhibitors with amphetamine can lead to hypertensive crises [9].


  • DOx - The combined stimulating effects of the two can lead to an uncomfortable body-load, while the focusing effects of amphetamine can easily lead to thought loops. Coming down from amphetamines while the DOx is still active can be quite anxiogenic.
  • NBOMes - Amphetamines and NBOMes both provide considerable stimulation. When combined they can result in tachycardia, hypertension, vasoconstriction and in extreme cases heart failure. The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants are also not good in combination with psychedelics as they can lead to unpleasant thought loops. NBOMes are known to cause seizures and stimulants can increase this risk.
  • 2C-T-x - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences. In extreme cases, they can result in severe vasoconstriction, tachycardia, hypertension, and in extreme cases heart failure.
  • 5-MeO-xxT - The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants increase the chance of unpleasant thought loops. The combination is generally unnecessary because of the stimulating effects of psychedelics.
  • DXM - Both substances raise heart rate, in extreme cases, panic attacks caused by these drugs have led to more serious heart issues.
  • PCP - This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states [9].

Harm reduction

  • you should avoid using these substances if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, epilepsy (or family history of epilepsy), diabetes or liver problems. Take advice if you are unsure,
  • taking BZP-type pills and dancing in hot clubs can cause dehydration and overheating. Non-alcoholic drinks such as water or isotonic drinks help to prevent this. However, it can be dangerous to drink too much fluid. It is therefore advisable to sip one pint of non-alcoholic liquid (not more) per hour,
  • regular rests from dancing will also reduce the risks of dehydration and overheating,
  • people using BZP-type pills in clubs or at dance events should ensure that they will be looked after in the event of an emergency. It is advisable to go to events that adhere to a safer dancing code of conduct, including adequate ventilation, rest areas, freely available water and staff who are trained to deal with emergencies,
  • it is advisable that only half a pill (if in pill form) is taken first in order to try and determine the potency. Wait for up to 2 hours before re-dosing. If in a powdered form, again only take very little and wait at least 2 hours before considering re-dosing [1].


It is not clear where and when mCPP was first synthesised, but its pharmacological uses have never been thoroughly investigated in a controlled setting, and the vast majority of it is produced illicitly, predominantly in New Zealand, Eastern Europe/Russia and (to an extent) the US. It has been sold on the internet since the mid-2000's [1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 mCPP, 2017,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 mCPP, 2017,
  3. Silverstone, P. H. and Rue, J. E. and Franklin, M. and Hallis, K. and Camplin, G. and Laver, D. and Cowen, P. J., The effects of administration of mCPP on psychological, cognitive, cardiovascular, hormonal and MHPG measurements in human volunteers, International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 1994, 9, 3, 173-178,
  4. Roth, B. L., Drugs and Valvular Heart Disease, New England Journal of Medicine, 2007, 356, 6-9,,
  5. Fong, M. H. and Garattini, S. and Caccia, S., 1-m-Chlorophenylpiperazine is an active metabolite common to the psychotropic drugs trazodone, etoperidone and mepiprazole, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 1982, 34, 10, 674-675,
  6. Rotzinger, S. and Fang, J. and Coutts, R. T. and Baker, G. B., Human CYP2D6 and metabolism of m-chlorophenylpiperazine, Biological Psychiatry, 1998, 44, 11, 1185-1191,,
  7. P450 Drug Interaction Table, 2016,
  8. Gillman, P. K., Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, opioid analgesics and serotonin toxicity, British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2005, 95, 4, 434-441,,
  9. 9.0 9.1 MCPP, 2017,