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Phenethylamine

What other names is Phenethylamine known by?

1-Amino-2-phenylethane, 2-Phenethylamine, 2-Phenylethylamine, Benzeneethanamine, Beta-phenethylamine, Beta-phenylethylamine, PEA, Phenethylamine HCl, Phenethylamine Hydrochloride, Phenylethylamine.

What is Phenethylamine?

Phenethylamine is a chemical that is found naturally in the body. It can also be made in the laboratory.

Phenethylamine is taken by mouth for improving athletic performance, depression, weight loss, and to improve mood and attention.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Depression. Early research shows that taking 10-60 mg of phenethylamine by mouth per day along with 5 mg of the antidepressant selegiline (Anipryl, Eldepryl) twice per day for 4 weeks relieves depression in 60% of people. Of the people who respond to initial treatment with phenethylamine plus selegiline, 86% show continued depression relief when treated for up to 50 weeks.
  • Attention.
  • Mood.
  • Weight loss.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate phenethylamine for these uses.

How does Phenethylamine work?

Phenethylamine stimulates the body to make certain chemicals that play a role in depression and other psychiatric conditions. People who don't make enough phenethylamine naturally may be helped by taking phenethylamine as a supplement. However, too much phenethylamine might cause side effects similar to the drug amphetamine.

Are there safety concerns?

Phenethylamine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. Phenethylamine works similar to the drug amphetamine, and may cause similar side effects. Also, it might cause rapid heart rate, anxiety, or agitation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using phenethylamine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bipolar disorder: Use of phenethylamine might cause people with bipolar disorder to convert from depression to mania.

Schizophrenia: Use of phenethylamine might worsen symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations or delusions.

Surgery: Phenethylamine might affect the central nervous system. This could interfere with surgery. Stop taking phenethylamine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?


Desipramine (Norpramin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Phenethylamine is cleared from the body by a certain protein. Desipramine (Norpramin) can affect how quickly this protein clears phenethylamine. Taking phenethylamine along with desipramine (Norpramin) might increase the levels and the effects of phenethylamine. This might cause too much serotonin in the brain and could result in serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take phenethylamine if you are taking desipramine (Norpramin).


Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Phenethylamine can affect a brain chemical called serotonin. Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) can also affect serotonin. Taking phenethylamine along with dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and can result in serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take phenethylamine if you are taking dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others).


Medications for depression (Antidepressant drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Phenethylamine increases a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Some medications for depression also increase serotonin. Taking phenethylamine along with these medications for depression might increase serotonin too much and cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Use phenethylamine cautiously or avoid using if you are taking medications for depression.

Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.


Medications for depression (MAOIs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Phenethylamine increases a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. Some medications used for depression also increase serotonin. Taking phenethylamine along with these medications used for depression might cause too much serotonin in the body, and serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.


Meperidine (Demerol)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Phenethylamine increases a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Meperidine (Demerol) can also increase serotonin in the brain. Taking phenethylamine along with meperidine (Demerol) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take phenethylamine if you are taking meperidine (Demerol).


Pentazocine (Talwin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Phenethylamine increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Pentazocine (Talwin) also increases serotonin. Taking phenethylamine along with pentazocine (Talwin) might increase serotonin too much. This might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take phenethylamine if you are taking pentazocine (Talwin).


Tramadol (Ultram)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Phenethylamine increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Tramadol (Ultram) can also increase serotonin. Taking phenethylamine along with tramadol (Ultram) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and might result in side effects including confusion, shivering, stiff muscles, and others. Do not take phenethylamine if you are taking tramadol (Ultram).

Dosing considerations for Phenethylamine.

The appropriate dose of phenethylamine depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for phenethylamine. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Reviewed on 9/17/2019
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