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The drug Superman: characteristics and effects

The drug Superman: characteristics and effects

March 29, 2024

The use of the drug Superman is spreading all over the world . What are the characteristics of this drug and what are its dangerous effects?

In the world we live the consumption of substances for recreational purposes is a relatively common phenomenon, looking for those who take new sensory and cognitive experiences, escape from the problems of everyday life, activate, relax or experience a temporary enhancement of a state of expansive mood.

All these reasons make that for some people the world of drugs viewed in a recreational way is a business to profit from, which causes that new versions of substances with psychoactive effects are constantly being created. One of these substances whose appearance is relatively recent is parametoximetamphetamine or Superman drug.

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The Superman or Superhero pickup

The superman drug, parametoxymethamphetamine or PMMA is a dangerous psychoactive substance that falls within the design drug classification. This type of substance is classified as psychodysleptic , since as a general rule they produce alterations in perception and a variation of the habitual psychic activity.

Derived from the amphetamine family, if we analyze the composition of the drug Superman we can find a combination of methamphetamine and ecstasy, this combination having a power much greater than that of any of its parts separately. This power makes PMMA a very dangerous drug, which, together with the relatively little knowledge of its characteristics by those who consume it, makes some authors consider it even more worrisome than cocaine. It is usually sold and bought as if it were ecstasy, the consumer not knowing the type of potency or risks that what they are taking.


Visually, This substance usually has a typical presentation, being generally red, pink, orange or yellow , with diamond shape and with the iconic Superman S on both sides.

The origin of this substance can be found in the countries of northern Europe, being a synthetic drug made by chemical products in a laboratory with the ability to emulate the characteristics of drugs of natural origin. It is a relatively recent substance that began to be regulated within our borders in 2002, although its appearance is earlier. Its consumption is not yet common in our borders, but in spite of this, in recent years its popularity has increased, with some cases of individuals having died due to its consumption. Thus it is necessary to increase the precaution and social alert before its presence in our territory .

What effects does this substance produce?

Considering that it is a psychodysleptic whose composition mainly ecstasy and methamphetamines come into play, the type of effects that the drug Superman has is easily guessable in terms of those that produce the substances that compose it.

Paramethoxymethamphetamine has mainly an excitatory effect, causing an increase in nerve activation of the brain . This activation produces social disinhibition and feelings of euphoria and well-being, in a similar way (although more intense) to other drugs of the amphetamine family. This causes their consumers to feel more sociable, cheerful and capable. It generates an increase in activity and affects both emotionally, physically, cognitively and perceptually. It can increase the level of perception of the environment or even provoke the presence of delusions (generally of greatness) and even hallucinations. Despite this last, its main effect is stimulating and not hallucinatory.

At a physiological level, the consumption of the drug Superman causes an acceleration of the metabolism and cardiorespiratory activity, increasing the oxygen and nutrient consumption of the organism and inducing an increase in body temperature and the sensation of greater physical and sexual strength and power. . Heart rate and blood pressure greatly increase , which can induce serious health problems. Due to the increase in energy, it usually causes the consumer to increase the level of physical activity that he or she performs, reaching worrying extremes. It has a diuretic effect, causing the need to urinate frequently.

How does it act at the neurochemical level?

The drug Superman exerts its effect through the inhibition of the reuptake of monoamines, especially dopamine and noradrenaline. It also causes an increase in the release of them while in turn temporarily inhibits the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO), which degrades serotonin. All this means that the level of neurotransmitters that act in the brain is very high at a general level, which can cause different effects in those who consume the drug.

The PMMA acts by joining the membranes of the neurons to gradually release the drug inside it (which is why its effect takes time to notice) in such a way that it can alter the ability of the neurons to discharge impulses. In fact, this produces that the effect of this drug is between thirty minutes and an hour after its consumption, being such effects relatively delayed (it is common that they begin to be noticed approximately to the three quarters of hour of the consumption). Its permanence in the nervous system is long and it takes to be eliminated, can cause serious neuronal problems due to an accumulation of this substance .

A substance that poses serious health risks

The drug Superman or PMMA has a very high toxicity , to be very close doses that cause an effect on the body and those that produce adverse effects on health. In fact, a single PMMA pill can have enough power to kill. It is considered that from the fifty milligrams this substance produces intoxication, while in a dose can be from fifty to three hundred.

The adverse effects produced by this substance include a spectacular and harmful increase in body temperature, which can reach very high fevers in a short time. It is frequent that the elevation of the heart rate and blood pressure produced by PMMA ends up generating arrhythmias, chest angina and even myocardial infarctions. Breathing difficulties, dizziness, dehydration and convulsions are other symptoms of poisoning .

Necrosis and risk of death

Many muscle fibers tend to break down due to the high level of agitation and physical activation, and the increase in diuresis combined with this cause them to lose fluid quickly. The kidney and liver can also be seriously damaged, generating tissue necrosis . In general, the effects produced by an intoxication of the drug superman or PMMA can cause multiorgan failure of multiple body systems, being this frequent cause of death by overdose

In addition, the fact that the drug Superman has a delayed effect, since it takes between thirty minutes and an hour to begin to take effect, can cause the consumption of more than one dose when the consumer considers that the substance has not had an effect, or the added consumption of other drugs. Taking into account that a single pill already has sufficient power to produce intoxication and even death, the risk involved increases exponentially.

Bibliographic references:

  • Becker, J .; Neis, P .; Röhrich, J. & Zörntlein, S. (2003). A fatal paramethoxymethamphetamine intoxication. Legal Medicine, 5. Suppl. 1: 138-41.
  • Young, R .; Dukat, M .; Malmusi, L. & Glennon, R. A. (1999). Stimulus properties of PMMA: effect of optical isomers and conformational restriction. Pharmacology and Biochemistry of Behavior, 64, 449-453.

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