Overview: a-PVP

So what is a-PVP?

a-PVP (Flakka, Gravel), or alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone is a stimulant of the cathinone family that was created in the 1960’s though it was not well known until its appearance as a designer drug in the 2010s where it gained a lot of negative media stigma.

So what effects will a-PVP produce?

a-PVP is a synthetic cathinone stimulant. Cathinones such as a-PVP have effects similar to Amphetamines or Cocaine. It acts as a Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor with a higher binding to Norepinephrine than Dopamine and a similar binding profile to MDPV. Though I have had no experiences with a-PVP, I have compiled some general effects from the drug.

Cognitive Effects

  • Analysis Enhancement (Similar to how Amphetamines create entactogen “studying” effects)
  • Euphoria (Intense happiness, or joy due to influxes in Dopamine or Serotonin)
  • Ego-Inflation (“Superman” feelings, Arrogance or Narcissism)
  • Increased Libido
  • Paranoia

Tactile Effects

  • Tactile enhancement
  • Hypertension
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Appetite Suppression
  • Tactile stimulation

After Effects (Crash)

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Cognitive fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Motivation suppression
  • Thought deceleration 


ROA: Oral, Insufflated

Duration (Insufflated):2-5 hours

Onset:15-45 minutes

After Effect:2-4 hours

Dosages (Insufflated)

Threshold:0.5-1 mg

Light:1-5 mg

Common:5-10 mg

Strong:10-15 mg

Heavy:15+ mg

Duration (Oral):2-5 hours

Dosages (Oral)

Threshold:1-5 mg

Light:5-10 mg 

Common:10-15 mg

Strong:15-25 mg

Heavy:25+ mg

Potential Interactions (Note: Not all interactions can be listed, and this drugs short History also leaves less info known about it)

  • Other Stimulants
  • NBOMEs & other Psychedelics (those where vasoconstriction occurs)
  • Alcohol
  • DXM
  • MXE
  • Tramadol
  • MDMA & Other Substituted Amphetamines (See above ‘Other Stimulants’)
  • Tramadol

*Serotonin Syndrome Risks*

  • MAOIs (e.g. Syrian Rue, some Tryptamines, as well as some antidepressants)
  • Serotonin Releasing Agents (e.g. MDMA, Amphetamines, Tryptamines, and other phenethylamines and stimulants)
  • SSRIs/SNRIs (Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Cymbalta, Lexapro, Celexa among many)
  • 5-HTP


a-PVP was first synthesized in 1967. It was not known by most for 4 more decades until it became available as a designer drug sold as “Flakka” or “Gravel” in early 2013 in the United States. At the same time, a-PVP showed up in tests of ecstasy pills, though its detection is hard with the Marquis test. This was likely due to its availability in headshops and online vendors shipped from China.  Soon after, it gained a lot of negative media coverage giving it, as well as other designer drugs being sold as “bath salts,” a negative connotation to the public. In April 2013, the Journal of Analytical  Toxicology covered a-PVP in a medical peer review. As of 2014 a-PVP had gained even more popularity in the US, and was also marketed at economical prices, compared to illicit drugs. On January 28, 2014 a-PVP was placed in Schedule I class in the US with nine other synthetic Cathinones, under an emergency temporary ban. The ban still stands and a-PVP is still a Schedule I substance in the US. Due to its ban, a-PVP has become very uncommon and widely replaced by newer designer drugs.






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