|Common names||N-Ethylpentedrone, NEP, Ethyl-Pentedrone|
n-ethyl-nor-pentedrone (also known as n-ethylpentedrone, ethyl-pentedrone or more commonly, nep) is a lesser-known novel stimulant substance of the cathinone class that produces stimulating, euphoric, and mildly entactogenic effects when administered.
the stimulating effects of nep are believed to mainly be caused by its activity as a norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (ndri). the reported entactogenic effects it displays may also be due to its activity as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor or releasing agent in moderate to high doses, although this has yet to be confirmed scientifically.
nep shares a close structural relationship to its parent compound pentedrone, differing by an addition ethyl group on the terminal nitrogen on the carbon chain. this addition reportedly makes it about three times as potent as pentedrone. nep is also closely related to n-ethylhexedrone (commonly known as hexen), and has been reported as producing largely-similar effects.
nep first became known in the research chemical market during 2016. it is an example of a contemporary designer drug specifically chosen to mimic/replace the functional and structural features of its popular potent and short-lived-type stimulant predecessors, which are sometimes imprecisely referred to as “bath salts”.
as with its parent compound pentedrone, very little data exists about the pharmacological properties, metabolism, and toxicity of nep in humans. due to its novelty and extremely short history of human usage, all information related to the use of this compound should be treated with extreme caution. it is highly advised that one use harm reduction practices if choosing to use this substance.
nep, or n-ethyl-(nor)-pentedrone, belongs to the cathinone chemical class. it features a phenethylamine core with an alkyl group attached to the alpha carbon and an oxygen group attached to the beta carbon. cathinones are beta-ketone analogues of amphetamines. cathinones refer to a class of molecules which are principally constituted of a phenethylamine core with an alkyl group attached to the alpha carbon and an oxygen group attached to the beta carbon. they are also known as the beta-ketone (double-bonded oxygen to the β-carbon) analogs of amphetamines. the cathinone backbone can be modified in three different places to create hundreds of possible compounds, which include substituents on the aromatic ring, the alpha carbon, and the amine group.
due to the lack of research regarding the substance, all discussion regarding the pharmacology of it is purely based upon its structure and subjective effect similarities to other cathinones such as mephedrone and others. nep most likely acts as both a dopamine and norepinephrine releasing agent or reuptake inhibitor. this allows dopamine and norepinephrine to accumulate within the brain, resulting in stimulating and euphoric effects. additionally, it has been speculated that it may possess some serotonergic properties, as users have described experiencing mild entactogenic effects on common to strong doses of this compound.