Content based on the EMJ Article D. M. Woods, SL Greene, PI Dargan EMJ 2011


  • Synthetic cathinone mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone)
  • Related to cathinone found in the Khat plant
  • Potentiates the release of pre-synaptic catecholamines
  • Head Shops
  • Commonly known as "meow meow", "snow" or "bubbles"
  • Frequently taken with other intoxicants

Clinical features include

  • Agitation
  • Tachycardia
  • Systolic hypertension
  • Seizures
  • Milder: sweating, headache, palpitations, N&V and cool/discoloured fingers


  • Beware airway protection if other intoxicants
  • Benzodiazepines for seizures, hypertension and severe agitation
  • Persistent hypertension use IV GTN (call NPIS / Toxbase)
  • Symptomatic (e.g. anti-emetics ± IV fluids)
  • ± CDU admission
Khat Plant
Khat plant

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan 15/04/2011. Last review Dr ÍOS 21/06/21.