Alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT)

Alternative names


Current Scheduling Status
Year(s) and type of review / ECDD meetings
Drug Class

Recommendation (from TRS)

Substance identification
Alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT) is chemically 2-(1H-indol-3-yl)-1-methyl- ethylamine with (R)- and (S)- stereoisomers.

Previous review
AMT had not been previously pre-reviewed or critically reviewed by the Committee. A direct critical review was proposed based on information brought to WHO’s attention that AMT is clandestinely manufactured, poses an especially serious risk to public health and society, and has no recognized therapeutic use by any party. Preliminary data collected from the literature and from different countries indicated that this substance may cause substantial harm and that it has no medical use.

Similarity to known substances and effects on the central nervous system
AMT shares several similarities with various scheduled tryptamine hallucino- gens such as alpha-ethyltryptamine (AET), N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 5-methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine (5-MeO-DIPT), 5-methoxy-N,N-dial- lyltryptamine (5-MeO-DALT), 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO- DMT) and 5-methoxy-α-methyltryptamine (5 MeO-AMT). AMT has a high affinity for the 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine or serotonin) transporter and inhib- its dopamine, 5 HT and norepinephrine reuptake and monoamine oxidase. It is a central nervous system stimulant with hallucinogenic properties. Adverse effects include mild increases in blood pressure or respiration rate, tachycardia, mydriasis, diaphoresis, salivation, severe nausea, severe vomiting, increased deep tendon reflexes, impaired coordination, visual and auditory disturbances and distortions. Although fatal intoxications involving AMT have been reported in the literature, they have also involved other drugs which may be a feature of the toxicity profile of AMT.

Dependence potential
No studies have examined the dependence potential of AMT in vitro, in animals or in humans.

Actual abuse and/or evidence of likelihood of abuse
AMT abuse and/or seized material has been reported in nine countries. Although the use of tryptamines (including AMT) remains limited, the use appears to have increased over the past five years. AMT has been sold in the form of powders, capsules or pellets via the Internet.

Therapeutic usefulness
Historically, AMT was first developed in the 1960s as an antidepressant and monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). There is no current legitimate medical or therapeutic use for AMT.

Owing to the current insufficiency of data regarding dependence, abuse and risks to public health, the Committee recommended that AMT not be placed under international control at this time but be kept under surveillance.

ECDD Recommendation

Recommended for surveilance at 36th ECDD (2014)

Information has been brought to WHO’s attention that AMT is being misused in a number of Member States. AMT is clandestinely manufactured and has been identified in seized products. AMT is a tryptamine derivative that shares share several similarities with the Schedule I tryptamine hallucinogens. Adverse effects of AMT include mild increases in blood pressure or respiration rate, restlessness, tachycardia, severe nausea, severe vomiting, impaired coordination, visual and auditory disturbances and distortions. AMT has been associated with fatal intoxications, although other drugs were present. The 36th ECDD (June 2014) reviewed AMT and recommended that, due to the insufficiency of evidence required to satisfy the criteria for international scheduling under the Conventions, it not be placed under international control but be kept under surveillance.