IUPAC_name =1,3-dimethyl-7- [2-(1-phenylpropan-2-ylamino)ethyl] purine-2,6-dione

width = 200
CAS_number = 3736-08-1
ATC_prefix = N06
ATC_suffix = BA10
ATC_supplemental =
PubChem = 19527
DrugBank = N/A
C=18 | H=23 | N=5 | O=2
molecular_weight = 341.408 g/mol
bioavailability = ?
metabolism = ?
elimination_half-life = ?
excretion = ?
pregnancy_category = ?
legal_status = ?
routes_of_administration = Oral

Fenethylline, also spelled Phenethylline, (marketed under the brand name Captagon) is a synthetic prodrug used as a stimulant.


Fenethylline was invented in 1963 and used for around 25 years as a milder alternative to amphetamines. It was used in applications such as treating "hyperkinetic children" (what would now be referred to as ADHD), and also less commonly for treating narcolepsy or as an antidepressant. One of the main advantages of fenethylline was that it does not tend to increase blood pressure to the same extent as amphetamines and so could be used in patients with cardiovascular conditions.

Although fenethylline was considered to have fewer side effects and less potential for abuse than amphetamine, it nevertheless became illegal in most countries in 1986 after being listed by the World Health Organization for international scheduling under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, even though the actual incidence of fenethylline abuse was quite low.


Fenethylline is metabolised by the body to form two drugs amphetamine (24.5% of oral dose) and theophylline (13.7% of oral dose), both of which are active stimulants themselves. The physiological effects of fenethylline therefore result from a combination of all three drugs.


Abuse of fenethylline as the brand Captagon is most common in Arab countries, and counterfeit versions of the legal drug continue to be available despite now being illegal for 20 years. Nowadays many of these counterfeit "Captagon" tablets actually contain other amphetamine derivatives that are easier to produce, but are pressed and stamped to look like Captagon pills. Some Captagon pills analysed do contain fenethylline however, indicating that illicit production of this drug continues to take place.


*Kristen G, Schaefer A, von Schlichtegroll A. Fenetylline: therapeutic use, misuse and/or abuse. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 1986 Jun;17(2-3):259-71.

*Ellison T, Levy L, Bolger JW, Okun R. The metabolic fate of 3H-fenethylline in man. European Journal of Pharmacology 13:123, 1970.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fenethylline — noun A synthetic prodrug used as a stimulant …   Wiktionary

  • fenethylline hydrochloride — An analeptic …   Medical dictionary

  • Amphetamine — For other uses, see Amphetamine (disambiguation). Amphetamine Systematic (IUPAC) name …   Wikipedia

  • Methamphetamine — Meth and Tik redirect here. For other uses, see Meth (disambiguation) and Tik (disambiguation). This article is about the psychostimulant drug, methamphetamine, in both racemic and dextrorotatory forms. For the CNS inactive OTC nasal decongestant …   Wikipedia

  • Methylphenidate — Concerta redirects here. For the musical composition, see Concerto. For the implantable defibrillator named Medtronic Concerto, see defibrillator. Methylphenidate …   Wikipedia

  • Desoxypipradrol — Systematic (IUPAC) name (RS) 2 benzhydrylp …   Wikipedia

  • D-161 — Systematic (IUPAC) name 4 ((((3S,6S) 6 benzhydryltetrahydro 2H pyran 3 yl)amino)methyl)phenol Clinical data Pregnancy cat …   Wikipedia

  • Norepinephrine releasing agent — Norepinephrine A norepinephrine releasing agent (NRA) is a type of drug which induces the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine from the pre synaptic neuron into the synapse. This in turn leads to increased extracellular concentrations of… …   Wikipedia

  • Dextroamphetamine — Dexies redirects here. For the band, see Dexys Midnight Runners. Dextroamphetamine …   Wikipedia

  • Cathine — Not to be confused with caffeine, a compound found in coffee and tea. Cathine Systematic ( …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.