6-APB (6-(2-aminopropyl)benzofuran) is an empathogenic psychoactive compound of the substituted benzofuran, substituted amphetamine and substituted phenethylamine classes. Benzofury and other compounds are sometimes informally called “Benzofury” in newspaper reports. It is similar in structure to MDA, but differs in that the 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl ring system has been replaced with a benzofuran ring.
6-APB is also the unsaturated benzofuran derivative of 6-APDB. It may appear as a tan grainy powder. While the drug never became particularly popular, it briefly entered the rave and underground clubbing scene in the UK before its sale and import were banned. It falls under the category of research chemicals, sometimes called “legal highs.” Because 6-APB and other substituted benzofurans have not been explicitly outlawed in some countries, they are often technically legal, contributing to their popularity.
6-APB is a serotonin–norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (SNDRI) with Ki values of 117, 150, and 2698 nM for the norepinephrine transporter (NET), dopamine transporter (DAT), and serotonin transporter (SERT), respectively. In addition, Benzofury not only blocks the reuptake of these monoamine neurotransmitters but is also a releasing agent of them; that is, it is a serotonin-norepinephrine-dopamine releasing agent (SNDRA). In addition to actions at the monoamine transporters, Benzofury is a potent full agonist of the serotonin 5-HT2B receptor (Ki = 3.7 nM), with higher affinity for this target than any other site. Moreover, unlike MDMA, 6-APB shows 100-fold selectivity for the 5-HT2B receptor over the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors. It is notably both more potent and more selective as an agonist of the 5-HT2B receptor than the reference 5-HT2B receptor agonist, BW-723C86, which is commonly used for research into the 5-HT2B receptor.
The pharmacokinetics of 6-APB have not been studied, however, some information can be extracted from user reports. These suggest a slow onset of 40–120 minutes. The drugs peak effects last 7 hours, followed by a comedown phase of approximately 2 hours, and after effects for up to 24 hours.