Many of the drugs in this class are relatively new, and they are not included on most lists of banned substances. These drugs are chemically similar to “magic mushrooms” or psilocybin. They are hallucinogens. Drugs in this class include:
- Alpha-O (5-MeO-DMT)
- Foxy-methoxy (5-MeO-DPT)
- AMT (Alpha-methyltryptamine)
As of 2012, there had been 25 tryptamines reported to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. This general category of drug also includes psilocybin, also referred to as “magic mushrooms.” These drugs have hallucinogenic properties.
The Health Risks of Tryptamines
Most of these drugs are so new, there is a shortage of accurate information on the health risks. Like phenethylamines, these drugs are capable of causing rhabdomyolysis, the toxic muscle breakdown that can shut down the kidneys and cause death. The drugs cause the muscles to go into a hyperactive state that then starts the tissue breakdown.
Use of foxy-methoxy has been reported to cause gastrointestinal distress and the kind of muscle tension just described. The Mayo Clinic reported on the hospitalization of a 23-year-old man from this cause. His blood pressure was very high along with his heart rate. The report noted that because there were no commercial drug screening tests that could detect the drug, many tryptamine-related deaths may have gone undetected.
A 29-year-old man died from a hemorrhage in his lungs and from a blockage of blood supply to his heart. Another young man died after being hit by a truck, but the report on this death noted that health agencies must begin to compile data on such deaths so they begin to understand their potential harm. That’s how new and undocumented these drugs are.
Some of these drugs are sold in a highly potent form which may be partly responsible for the damage they can do.