Methoxetamine, abbreviated as MXE, is a dissociative hallucinogen that has been sold as a designer drug. It differs from many dissociatives such as ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP) that were developed as pharmaceutical drugs for use as general anestheticsin that it was designed for grey market distribution.
MXE is an arylcyclohexylamine. It acts mainly as a selective NMDA receptor antagonist, similarly to other arylcyclohexylamines like ketamine and PCP.
3-MeO-2′-Oxo-PCE (commonly known as Methoxetamine, MXE, Mexxy, among others) is a dissociative substance of the arylcyclohexylamine class that produces ketamine-like dissociative effects when administered.It is structurally related to ketamine, PCE, and 3-MeO-PCP.
Methoxetamine, or (RS)2-(3-methoxyphenyl)-2-(ethylamino)cyclohexanone, is classed as an arylcyclohexylamine. Arylcyclohexylamines are named for their structures which include a cyclohexane ring bound to an aromatic ring along with an amine group.
MXE contains a phenyl ring with a methoxy (CH3-O-) substituent at R3 bonded to a cyclohexane ring substituted at R2 with an oxo group (cyclohexanone). Bound to the same location (R1) of the cyclohexanone ring is an amino ethyl chain -N-CH2CH3.
MXE is a chiral molecule that is often produced as a racemate, although batches of its stereo-exclusive isomers have occasionally been produced and distributed.
MXE acts as a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist and serotonin-reuptake inhibitor. NMDA receptors allow for electrical signals to pass between neurons in the brain and spinal column; for the signals to pass, the receptor must be open. Dissociatives close the NMDA receptors by blocking them. This disconnection of neurons leads to loss of feeling, difficulty moving, and eventually an almost identical equivalent of the famous “k-hole.” MXE was reported to be similar to ketamine , despite being stronger and having a longer duration.
Because of its structural similarity to 3-HO-PCP, it was falsely believed to carry opioid properties. This claim cannot be supported by actual data, instead showing only insignificant affinity for the µ-opioid receptor by the substance itself, although in-vivo metabolites could yield different effects.