MDA is rarely sought as a recreational drug compared to other amphetamines; however, it remains widely used due to it being a primary metabolite, the product of hepatic N-dealkylation, of MDMA (ecstasy). It is also a common adulterant of illicitly produced MDMA.
MDA currently has no accepted medical use.
MDA is bought, sold, and used as a recreational 'love drug', due to its enhancement of mood and empathy. A recreational dose of MDA is sometimes cited as being between 100 and 160 mg.
MDA produces serotonergic neurotoxic effects, thought to be activated by initial metabolism of MDA. In addition, MDA activates a response of the neuroglia, though this subsides after use.
In terms of the subjective and behavioral effects of MDA, it is thought that serotonin release is required for its empathogen-entactogen effects, release of dopamine and norepinephrine is responsible for its psychostimulant effects, dopamine release is necessary for its euphoriant (rewarding and addictive) effects, and direct agonism of the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor is causative of its psychedelic effects.[medical citation needed]
The duration of the drug has been reported as about 6 to 8 hours.
Darzens reaction on heliotropin was also done by J. Elks, et al. This gives MDP2P, which was then subjected to a Leuckart reaction.
Detection in body fluids
MDA may be quantitated in blood, plasma or urine to monitor for use, confirm a diagnosis of poisoning or assist in the forensic investigation of a traffic or other criminal violation or a sudden death. Some drug abuse screening programs rely on hair, saliva, or sweat as specimens. Most commercial amphetamine immunoassay screening tests cross-react significantly with MDA and major metabolites of MDMA, but chromatographic techniques can easily distinguish and separately measure each of these substances. The concentrations of MDA in the blood or urine of a person who has taken only MDMA are, in general, less than 10% those of the parent drug.
MDA is schedule 9 prohibited substance under the Poisons Standards. A schedule 9 substance is listed as a "Substances which may be abused or misused, the manufacture, possession, sale or use of which should be prohibited by law except when required for medical or scientific research, or for analytical, teaching or training purposes with approval of Commonwealth and/or State or Territory Health Authorities."
In 2010, the ability of MDA to invoke mystical experiences and alter vision in healthy volunteers was studied. The study concluded that MDA is a "potential tool to investigate mystical experiences and visual perception".
^ abde la Torre R, Farré M, Roset PN, Pizarro N, Abanades S, Segura M, et al. (April 2004). "Human pharmacology of MDMA: pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and disposition". Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. 26 (2): 137–144. doi:10.1097/00007691-200404000-00009. PMID15228154.
^Nash JF, Roth BL, Brodkin JD, Nichols DE, Gudelsky GA (August 1994). "Effect of the R(-) and S(+) isomers of MDA and MDMA on phosphatidyl inositol turnover in cultured cells expressing 5-HT2A or 5-HT2C receptors". Neuroscience Letters. 177 (1–2): 111–115. doi:10.1016/0304-3940(94)90057-4. PMID7824160. S2CID41352480.
^Noggle FT, DeRuiter J, Long MJ (1986). "Spectrophotometric and liquid chromatographic identification of 3,4-methylenedioxyphenylisopropylamine and its N-methyl and N-ethyl homologs". Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists. 69 (4): 681–686. PMID2875058.
^Ho BT, McIsaac WM, An R, Tansey LW, Walker KE, Englert LF, Noel MB (January 1970). "Analogs of alpha-methylphenethylamine (amphetamine). I. Synthesis and pharmacological activity of some methoxy and/or methyl analogs". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 13 (1): 26–30. doi:10.1021/jm00295a007. PMID5412110.
^Butterick JR, Unrau AM (1974). "Reduction of β-nitrostyrene with sodium bis-(2-methoxyethoxy)-aluminium dihydride. A convenient route to substituted phenylisopropylamines". Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications. 8 (8): 307–308. doi:10.1039/C39740000307.
^Kolbrich EA, Goodwin RS, Gorelick DA, Hayes RJ, Stein EA, Huestis MA. Plasma pharmacokinetics of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine after controlled oral administration to young adults. Ther. Drug Monit. 30: 320–332, 2008.
^Naranjo C, Shulgin AT, Sargent T (1967). "Evaluation of 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an adjunct to psychotherapy". Medicina et Pharmacologia Experimentalis. International Journal of Experimental Medicine. 17 (4): 359–364. doi:10.1159/000137100. PMID5631047.