α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP), commonly known as bath salts or flakka, is a synthetic cathinone with stimulant effects. Its chemical structure consists of a pyrrolidine ring linked to a phenyl ring with a ketone group in between. This compound has gained notoriety due to its potent psychostimulant properties and potential for abuse.

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Chemical Structure and Composition:

At the molecular level, α-PVP possesses a molecular formula of C15H21NO and a molar mass of 231.33 g/mol. Its chemical structure features a substituted cathinone backbone, which is structurally analogous to other synthetic cathinones like methylone and MDPV. The presence of the pyrrolidine ring enhances its affinity for dopamine and norepinephrine transporters, leading to increased levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

Physical Properties:

Physically, α-PVP typically appears as a white or off-white crystalline powder with a characteristic odor. It is sparingly soluble in water but soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol and acetone. α-PVP exhibits a melting point range between 170°C to 190°C, depending on its purity and crystalline form.

Chemical Behavior and Reactions:

In terms of chemical behavior, α-PVP acts primarily as a central nervous system stimulant by blocking the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, resulting in increased synaptic concentrations of these neurotransmitters. This mechanism of action is similar to other psychostimulants like amphetamines and cocaine. Additionally, α-PVP can undergo various chemical reactions, including oxidation, reduction, and substitution reactions, leading to the formation of metabolites with altered pharmacological properties.

Biological Effects and Pharmacology:

Upon ingestion, α-PVP rapidly crosses the blood-brain barrier, exerting its effects within minutes. It induces feelings of euphoria, increased energy, alertness, and heightened sociability. However, prolonged or excessive use can lead to adverse effects such as agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, and even psychosis. Furthermore, α-PVP has been associated with serious medical complications, including cardiovascular problems, hyperthermia, and seizures.


In conclusion, α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP) is a synthetic cathinone with potent stimulant properties, commonly abused for its euphoric effects. Despite its chemical resemblance to other stimulants, α-PVP exhibits unique pharmacological characteristics, contributing to its distinct psychoactive profile and potential health risks.

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