UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Bath Salts on the RIse

Keywords: mephedrone (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/21/2011 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 5/25/2024)
Click here to contact Fermin Barrueto, MD

There are increasing reports of bath salts which are crushed and then either injected, insufflated or taken orally. The actual substance has been found to be mephedrone as well as MDPV.(1)  Both are amphetamine derivatives and the psychosis seen can appear like schizophrenia to the point that some of these patients have been admitted to the psychiatric wards. (2)(3)  For those who have seen methamphetamine patients "tweaking" - where they use the drug for several days in a row without sleep - the presentation is quite similiar.

Synthetic drugs continue to present legal and regulatory problems since the compound is a "designer" synthesized drug that may not be on the DEA Schedule list.  The product is labeled "Not for human consumption". Head shops and the internet remain primary sources of the drug. Bath salts present a serious and dangerous public health risk.



  1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Emergency department visits after use of a drug sold as "bath salts"--Michigan, November 13, 2010-March 31,2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 May 20;60(19):624-7. 


  2) Antonowicz JL, Metzger AK, Ramanujam SL. Paranoid psychosis induced by  consumption of methylenedioxypyrovalerone: two cases. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2011 May 25.  
  3) Penders TM, Gestring R. Hallucinatory delirium following use of MDPV: "Bath  Salts". Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2011 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:  21762997.