Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Aspects of Peyote and Mescaline: Clinical and Forensic Repercussions
Objectives: This article aims to fully review pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of mescaline, focusing on the in vivo and in vitro metabolic profile of the drug and its implications for the variability of response.
Methods: Mescaline pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic aspects were searched in books and in PubMed (U.S. National Library of Medicine) without a limiting period. Biological effects of other compounds found in peyote were also reviewed.
Results: Although its illicit administration is less common, in comparison with cocaine and Cannabis, it has been extensively described in adolescents and young adults, and licit consumption often occurs in religious and therapeutic rituals practiced by the Native American Church. Its pharmacodynamic mechanisms of action are primarily attributed to the interaction with the serotonergic 5-HT2A-C receptors, and therefore clinical effects are similar to those elicited by other psychoactive substances, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin, which include euphoria, hallucinations, depersonalization and psychoses. Moreover, as a phenethylamine derivative, signs and symptoms are consistent with a sympathomimetic effect. Mescaline is mainly metabolized into trimethoxyphenylacetic acid by oxidative deamination but several minor metabolites with possible clinical and forensic repercussions have also been reported.
Conclusion: Most reports concerning mescaline were presented in a complete absence of exposure confirmation, since toxicological analysis is not widely available. Addiction and dependence are practically absent and it is clear that most intoxications appear to be mild and are unlikely to produce lifethreatening symptoms, which favors the contemporary interest in the therapeutic potential of the drugs of the class.
Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: August 1, 2019
Current Molecular Pharmacology aims to publish the latest developments in cellular and molecular pharmacology with a major emphasis on the mechanism of action of novel drugs under development, innovative pharmacological technologies, cell signaling, transduction pathway analysis, genomics, proteomics, and metabonomics applications to drug action. An additional focus will be the way in which normal biological function is illuminated by knowledge of the action of drugs at the cellular and molecular level. The journal publishes expert reviews , original reserach articles and thematic issues on molecular pharmacology.
Current Molecular Pharmacology is an essential journal for every scientist who is involved in drug design and discovery, target identification, target validation, preclinical and clinical development of drugs therapeutically useful in human disease.
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