phencyclidine , 1-(phenylcyclidine) piperidine or phenyl cyclohexyl piperidine, either of which may have given rise to the “PCP” acronym. Phencyclidine was used for a time as an animal anesthetic, but even this use has ceased in the United States. It is no longer manufactured in the United States for any clinical use, although it continues to be investigated for possible beneficial effects.
PCP has been studied in animal models of schizophrenia. More recently, PCP-like compounds have been investigated for use in treating brain ischemia. PCP is known to produce a syndrome in previously nonpsychiatrically ill humans that is similar to schizophrenia and can worsen the psychotic symptoms in people who have a schizophrenic or other psychotic illness. PCP is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist; thus, it blocks the action of glutamate and aspartate, excitatory amino acid CNS neurotransmitters. PCP is also highly anticholinergic in nature.
PCP can be smoked, ingested orally, snorted intranasally, or injected intravenously. Today, the usual route of administration is smoking, often as an additive to marijuana cigarettes. Because it is inexpensive to produce, PCP is sometimes palmed off on unsuspecting street drug buyers as “THC” (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana); lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD); or as some other, more exotic “designer” hallucinogen.
ECHA InfoCard 100.150.427
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass 243.387 g/mol.
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