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Alcohol Alcohol. 1984;19(4):319-23.

Recent advances in khat research.


Khat leaves are widely used as a stimulant in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and the effect of the material was formerly believed to be due to its content of norpseudoephedrine. Recently, however, a new alkaloid, cathinone, has been discovered in khat, and this substance was found to be a potent compound with a pharmacological profile closely resembling that of amphetamine. It was also found that cathinone has the same mechanism of action as amphetamine, i.e. that it causes release at physiological catecholamine storage sites. The present report summarizes the pharmacology of cathinone and shows that this alkaloid must be considered to be the main active constituent of khat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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