About Synthetic Cathinones

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What can synthetic cathinones feel like?

Synthetic cathinones can make people feel energetic, open and alert. People may also feel euphoria and more empathy for others and have a higher sex drive than normal. However, people can also experience psychosis, rage, agitation and other unpleasant symptoms like vomiting and twitching. Different synthetic cathinones have different effects. Some effects are mild while others can be quite dangerous.

Though bath salts can look like MDMA, they can be three times as strong. It may feel the same as MDMA for the first 30–45 minutes, but after that, these effects can change and become unpredictable. The positive effects of these drugs last for a much shorter time than MDMA, which can lead to re-dosing (taking more). Re-dosing increases the risk of having unpleasant effects from the drug.

Pleasant effects

Unpleasant effects




Emotionally open

Sexually aroused

Socially confident

Irritable and agitated



Difficulty urinating


Teeth grinding

Sexually aroused (can be intense or unwanted)

Pleasant effects

Unpleasant effects


Very confident

Increased euphoria




Severely agitated or aggressive

Hypersexual behaviour



Sweaty or feeling very hot or very cold

Feeling panicked or having panic attacks


Violent thoughts

Pleasant effects

Unpleasant effects




Inappropriate behaviour

Acting violently

Fast or irregular heartbeat

Severely nauseous

Severely dehydrated



Severe panic attacks

Severely anxious

Suicidal thoughts or attempts


Becoming unresponsive

Losing consciousness

An Erowid user describes being on the synthetic cathinone N-ethylpentedrone:

“The euphoria is marked – reminds me much of a cocaine + MDMA high, but without most of the uncomfortable physical side-effects of either drug. Tread lightly and know your body, and when enough is enough. I don’t fiend (too much) over this drug, and after reaching the point of physical discomfort, it is not hard to put it away for another day. I wouldn’t push the bounds too far with the dosing on this one.”

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