What is PMA and PMMA?
Paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA) and paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) are stimulants with hallucinogenic effects similar to MDMA, which is the main ingredient in ecstasy. In fact most people who take PMA or PMMA think they are taking ecstasy. However, drugs sold as ecstasy may not contain any MDMA. They can be a mix of amphetamines, PMA, PMMA, ketamine, NBOMe, methylone or other substances. This is potentially harmful as PMA and PMMA have more toxic effects (and are less euphoric) than MDMA. It also takes longer to feel these effects, so people may take another pill in the mistaken belief that the first has not worked, sometimes resulting in overdose. PMA and PMMA have been around since the 1970s and have been associated with a number of deaths over the years worldwide. In 2012 and 2013 there was a spike in deaths directly attributable to PMA or PMMA in England and Wales.
How are they used?
PMA and PMMA are usually swallowed and can be snorted or injected.
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Effects of PMA and PMMA
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk. PMA and PMMA affect everyone differently, but effects may include:
• Feeling alert and excited
• Seeing colours and shapes
• Heightened senses (sight, hearing and touch)
• Dry mouth
• Teeth grinding
• Increased sweating
• Increased heart beat and blood pressure
• Difficulty breathing
• Irregular eye movements
• Muscle spasms
If you take a large amount or have a strong batch, you could overdose. If you have any of the symptoms below, call an ambulance straight away
• Kidney failure
• Extremely high body temperature
• Convulsions and seizures
High doses of PMA or PMMA are potentially lethal.
Long term effects
The long-term effects of PMA and PMMA have not yet been established but health professionals believe they may have similar long-term effects to ecstasy. Using PMA or PMMA with other drugs Taking PMA or PMMA with other drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, cannabis and some prescription medications such as anti-depressants (SSRIs and MAOIs) can be potentially fatal.