4Cl-PVP is classified as a substituted cathinone. The substituted cathinones are multitudinous and varied. Their defining features are a
phenethylamine backbone with a ketone at the beta position and an alkyl substituent at the alpha position on the carbon adjacent to the nitrogen.
Additional substitutions at the benzene ring or at the nitrogen produce the wider variety of compounds with similar and confusing names which
belong to the class. They can all be said to be broadly in a lineage with the chemical known as cathinone, a plant derived chemical from the plant
Khat (Catha edulis) which grows natively at the horn of Africa. Members of the cathinone family can have stimulant properties like cathinone. Some
even display entactogenic and hallucinogenic qualities.
4 Cl-PVP is reported as forming a tan powder at room temperature and pressure. It has an empirical chemical formula of C15H20ClNO and goes
under the formal and systematic IUPAC name 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)pentan-1-one.
4 Cl-PVP is closely related in structure to the popular substituted cathinone α-PVP. Α-PVP itself was first developed in the 1960s. It rose to
widespread popularity amongst cathinone aficionados in 2013 as a substance that had effects remarkably similar to the stimulant MDPV
(Methylenedioxypyrovalerone). Both of these chemicals were popular for their stimulatory nature and usability at low doses.
An examination of the action α-PVP sets the context for discussion of the largely unknown but closely related compound 4 Cl-PVP. α-PVP is a
noradrenaline-dopamine reuptake inhibitor with an affinity for the dopamine and noradrenaline channels that is similar to MDPV.
Dopamine is the major neurotransmitter involved in reward pathways. It is released after exercise, significant accomplishments and sex to reinforce
positive biological behaviours. Its release by synthetic drugs such as cocaine will in some way mimic this and give the user a feeling of being
elated and “high”. Dopamine is associated with feelings of well-being, contentment and in high amounts euphoria.