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A solution of 8.4 g 2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine base in 40 mL acetic acid was added dropwise over the course of 0.5 h to 43 mL of 50% nitric acid which was well stirred and cooled with an external ice bath. The resulting solution was quenched with ice water, made basic with aqueous NaOH, and extracted with a benzene-ether mixture. The residue that remained after the removal of the solvent was dissolved in dilute HCl which, upon evaporation of the H2O, yielded a nearly colorless residue. Recrystallization from an ethanol/ether mixture gave, after drying, 10.5 g of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-nitroamphetamine hydrochloride (DON) with a mp of 206-207 °C. The acetamide derivative melted at 166-168 °C. The formamide derivative was easily hydrolyzed with 3N HCl. And the R-isomer of DON hydrochloride had a mp of 231-232 °C.

IUPAC name
CAS number 67460-68-8
Molecular formula C11H16N2O4
Molar mass 240.26 g/mol
Melting point

206-207 °C hydrochloride
231-232 °C (R)-Isomer

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox references


3.0 - 4.5 mg.


8 - 15 h.


(with 3.0 mg) There was an amphetamine-like stimulation that was apparent an hour into it, and considerable anxiety. I had stomach cramps, but there were indications that there might be something hallucinogenic at a higher dose.

(with 4.5 mg) An enhancement of color perception, and some auditory distortion, that was still noticeable some eight hours into the experience. The visual changes were intense. I felt I was running a slight fever, and was restless, but there was almost no physical malaise. I was still somewhat wound up even at the 14th hour.


These qualitative comments are not true quotations, but have been reconstructed from the published summaries of the human trials reported by several South American researchers. I have personally never tasted DON and have only these fragments from which to create a portrait of activity. A brief quotation, from a note published by these researchers in a bulletin that is restricted to forensic scientists serving law enforcement agencies, is certainly subject to a number of interpretations. It reads as follows: "This action [a strong stimulant action reminiscent of amphetamine] seems to reduce the incidence of insightful, and therefore potentially unpleasant experiences, and thus [DON seems likely] to appear on the market as an illicit recreational drug." I must admit that I have tried, and I am still not able, to interpret this quotation.