Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel dust).

Phencyclidine (PCP), also known as angel dust.



It may cause hallucinations, distorted perceptions of sounds, and violent behavior.



It is typically smoked, but may be taken by mouth, snorted, or injected, and 


may also be mixed with cannabis or tobacco.



Drug class


NMDA receptor antagonists



General anesthetics



Dissociative hallucinogens



US: Schedule II drug



Metabolism Oxidative hydroxylation in liver by CYP450 enzymes, glucuronidation



Metabolites PCHP, PPC, PCAA



Onset of action 2–60 min.



Elimination half-life 7–46 hours



Duration of action 6–48 hours.



Excretion Urine



Adverse effects may include seizures, coma, addiction, and an increased risk of suicide, and flashbacks.



A member of the arylcyclohexylamine class, and is a dissociative anesthetic.



PCP works primarily as an NMDA receptor antagonist.



As of 2017 in the United States about 1% of people in grade twelve reported using PCP in the prior year.



2.9% of those over the age of 25 reported using it at some point in their life.



PCP is classified as a schedule II drug.



It is used for its ability to induce a dissociative state.



Effects vary with dosage.



Low dose produces a numbness in the extremities and intoxication, characterized by staggering, unsteady gait, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and loss of balance. 



Moderate doses produce analgesia and anesthesia. 



High doses may lead to convulsions.



Users may be unaware of the actual dose they are taking.



It has profound psychological effects including: changes in body image, loss of ego boundaries, paranoia, and depersonalization, psychosis, agitation and dysphoria, hallucinations, blurred vision, euphoria, and suicidal impulses as well as occasional aggressive behavior.



Can alter mood states in an unpredictable fashion, causing some individuals to become detached, and others to become animated. 



It may induce feelings of power, and invulnerability as well as a numbing effect on the mind.



Reports of PCP-induced violence are greatly exaggerated and that incidents of violence are unusual.



Recreational doses of the drug also occasionally appear to induce a psychotic state that resembles a schizophrenia.



Symptoms: rage, erythema, dilated pupils, delusions, amnesia, nystagmus, excitation, and skin dryness.



It is known to cause addiction.



PCP comes in both powder and liquid forms.



It is usually sprayed onto leafy material such as cannabis, mint, oregano, tobacco, parsley, or ginger leaves, then smoked.



It can be ingested through smoking. 



PCP intoxication management consists of supportive care and treating psychiatric symptoms.



Benzodiazepines, are the drugs of choice to control agitation and seizures if present.



Typical antipsychotics may produce many undesirable side effects.



Phenothiazines may lower the seizure threshold, worsen hyperthermia, and boost the anticholinergic effects of PCP.



Intramuscular haloperidol is a  recommended agent.



PCP is an NMDA receptor antagonist. which can impact synaptic development and plasticity in the brain by inhibiting  excitatory glutamate activity in the hippocampus,and cerebellum.



Prolonged use potentially leads to memory loss.



 PCP acute effects on the cerebellum include changes in blood pressure, breathing rate, pulse rate, and loss of muscular coordination.



PCP  acts as a potent dopamine D2 receptor partial agonist.



PCP has also been shown to inhibit dopamine reuptake, and thereby leads to increased extracellular levels of dopamine and hence increased dopaminergic neurotransmission.



It is an NMDA receptor antagonist that blocks the activity of the NMDA receptor to cause anaesthesia and analgesia without causing cardiorespiratory depression.



NMDA is an excitatory receptor in the brain, when activated normally the receptor acts as an ion channel and there is an influx of positive ions through the channel to cause nerve cell depolarisation. 



It enters the ion channel and binds, reversibly and non-competitively, inside the channel pore to block the entry of positive ions to the cell therefore inhibiting cell depolarization.



PCP induces symptoms in humans that mimic schizophrenia, and it also yield electroencephalogram changes in the thalamocortical pathway.



PCP induced dopamine release may link the NMDA and DA hypothesis of schizophrenia



PCP is metabolized 90% by oxidative hydroxylation in the liver during the first pass. 



Metabolites by glucuronidation are excreted in the urine. 



It is excreted 9% unchanged.



When smoked, some of the compound is broken down by heat into 1-phenylcyclohexene (PC) and piperidine.



Conversion of PCP into PC and piperidine by heat, when smoked.



Onset 15 to 60 minutes.



PCP is a Schedule II substance in the United States.


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