Complete Guide to PMA and PMMA

Complete Guide to PMA and PMMA
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PMA and PMMA are empathogens/hallucinogenic drugs. Though they are not as well-known as MDMA/ecstasy, many people take PMA or PMMA without realizing it.

So what is PMMA or PMA, and what are their effects? Check out our complete guide for the facts.

What Are PMA and PMMA?

PMA stands for paramethoxyamphetamine, while PMMA drug is short for paramethoxymethamphetamine. Both are considered “designer drugs,” and are commonly mistaken for MDMA, but possess no psychedelic effects. PMA was first produced in laboratories in Toronto, Canada, in the 1970s, as a potential alternative to LSD.

PMA and PMMA are Schedule I controlled substances, meaning they are illegal to buy or sell in the United States. The drugs have the potential to kill when taken in doses over 50 milligrams.

How Are PMA and PMMA Used?

PMA and PMMA are typically sold as branded, brightly colored pills that are swallowed and are similar in appearance to MDMA. The drug may also be sold as a beige, white, or pink crystalline powder that is snorted or injected.

Many users take PMA at raves or clubs under the impression they are taking MDMA.

Street Names for PMA and PMMA

PMA and PMMA are referred to by many different nicknames on the street, such as:

  • Dr. Death
  • Pink ecstasy
  • Double Stacked Mitsubishi
  • Death
  • Killer
  • Chicken yellow
  • Chicken powder

PMA and PMMA Effects

The effects of PMA and PMMA vary depending on the dosage, size of the person taking the drug, and strength of the particular batch. It’s important to note that PMA and PMMA are more toxic than MDMA and can result in death. Some of the potential effects include:

  • Mild to moderate levels of stimulation
  • Increased sensory perception
  • Visions of colors and shapes
  • Feelings of excitement and well-being
  • Dry mouth and dehydration
  • Boosted heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Increased body temperature
  • Muscle spasms
  • Random and irregular eye movement
  • Teeth grinding

Woman cooling down from sweating.

Signs of PMA and PMMA Overdose

It is impossible for users of PMA and PMMA to know exactly what is in the drugs and how potent they are. Most users do not take PMA or PMMA intentionally, but believe they are taking MDMA.

Because the drug does not produce the same hallucinogenic and psychedelic effects as MDMA, some users may take more PMA or PMMA, which can have lethal effects.

Here are some of the signs of PMA and PMMA overdose:

  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Overheating
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Intense nausea or vomiting
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Kidney failure
  • Coma
  • Death

How Are PMA and PMMA Different from MDMA?

PMA and PMMA are often sold as MDMA, but users have no way of knowing exactly what is in the drugs they are taking. PMA and PMMA have different properties and effects in comparison to MDMA. The drugs are known to be more toxic and do not produce the same level of euphoria. It also takes longer for the effects of PMA and PMMA to kick in.

Like MDMA, PMA and PMMA are stimulants that can increase heart rate and blood pressure. They may produce hallucinations and feelings of anxiety, paranoia. 

Even low doses of the drug have the potential to kill. PMA and PMMA can be especially fatal when mixed with drugs like cocaine, cannabis, alcohol, or amphetamines.

Are PMA and PMMA Addictive?

There is not enough research to determine whether or not PMA and PMMA are addictive. However, users can build a tolerance to the drug, meaning they need to take a higher dosage to get the same effects. Users may also develop a psychological dependence on the drugs, feeling a greater need to take PMA or PMMA even though it comes at a risk.

No withdrawal symptoms have been identified in association with PMA and PMMA. Still, users can feel a sense of lethargy for several days after taking the drug.

Get Help with Drug Abuse

Man who sought help for his drug addiction.

Are you or someone you know struggling with PMA or PMMA abuse? If so, Pinnacle Treatment Centers can help. Contact us today to learn more about our empathetic approach to lasting recovery.

The materials provided on the Pinnacle Blog are for information and educational purposes only. No behavioral health or any other professional services are provided through the Blog and the information obtained through the Blog is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified health professional. If you are in need of medical or behavioral health treatment, please contact a qualified health professional directly, and if you are in need of emergency help, please go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911.