Methoxetamine: prevalence of use in the USA and UK and associated urinary problems

Will Lawn*, Rohan Borschmann, Angela Cottrell, Adam Winstock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)



Methoxetamine is a novel psychoactive substance and a legal alternative to ketamine in many countries, including parts of the United States. Frequent recreational ketamine use can cause lower urinary tract symptoms, whereas methoxetamine was originally marketed as “bladder friendly”.


(1) To determine changes in prevalence of methoxetamine use between 2011 and 2012 in the USA and UK and (2) to investigate the prevalence of urinary symptoms in group of methoxetamine users, who had also used ketamine at least once in their lifetime.
Methods: Cross-sectional, anonymous online surveys exploring patterns of drug use were conducted in late 2011 (n = 15 200) and late 2012 (n = 22 289).


Reported lifetime, past 12 months, and last month methoxetamine use significantly increased in the USA between 2011 and 2012; whereas, during the same period, past 12 months and last month methoxetamine use significantly decreased in the UK. Of the methoxetamine users questioned in the 2012 survey, 23.0% (n = 98) reported experiencing urinary symptoms. Prevalence of at least one urinary symptom was related to frequency of methoxetamine use in the last month.


Methoxetamine use appeared to increase in the United States and decrease in the UK between 2011 and 2012. Approximately, one-quarter of methoxetamine users questioned reported urinary symptoms; however, previous ketamine use cannot be ruled out as the cause of the symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Oct 2014


  • Ketamine
  • legal high
  • methoxetamine
  • novel psychoactive substance
  • urinary symptoms


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