Synthetic cathinones are psychostimulants whose risks are similar to those of cocaine and amphetamines, with side effects like increased heart rate, confusion and paranoia.

People who are taking them often do not know what they are taking, whether they are using the right dose, or what greater risks come with combining other drugs.

Synthetic Cathinones in the Media

The media often reports instances of bizarre behavior by someone who has taken a synthetic cathinone as if it is a common scenario. This rare and uncommon side effect is known as “excited delirium.”

Signs of excited delirium include:

  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Insensitivity to pain
  • Hyper-aggression

Cases of excited delirium are extremely rare and can often involve other factors like combining with other drugs, driving under the influence, or underlying mental health conditions.

See the fact sheet for more information and sources.