Department of Health

Green ‘UPS’ pills containing N-ethylpentylone (no MDMA)

Green ‘UPS’ pills containing N-ethylpentylone (no MDMA)

A drug product has been found in Victoria that is likely to be sold as ecstasy/MDMA but in fact contains N-ethylpentylone. It does not contain MDMA.

The product (pictured to the right) is a pill/tablet, branded ‘UPS’, lime-green, speckled, shield-shaped, and approximately 8mm x 10mm x 3mm in size.

Possible effects of these pills

N-ethylpentylone is significantly stronger than MDMA, but produces more unwanted effects

People often report N-ethylpentylone gives them less euphoria than MDMA and more unwanted effects, such as heart palpitations, anxiety, agitation and paranoia.

If you take N-ethylpentylone at a dose similar to a typical MDMA dose, your chance of overdose will increase significantly. Higher doses of N-ethylpentylone can lead to hallucinations/bizarre behaviour, an inability to sleep (24-72 hours), overheating, seizures, heart attack, stroke and death.

N-ethylpentylone is a synthetic stimulant that is classified as a ‘substitute cathinone’. Consuming N-ethylpentylone with other substances – especially stimulants like MDMA, cocaine or methamphetamine – will increase your risk of toxicity.

The effects of N-ethylpentylone take longer to appear than MDMA, and will also wear off more quickly

This may make you feel like you should consume more. If you have a delayed or unexpected reaction to a drug, do not take more – it will increase your chance of experiencing serious or even life-threatening effects, including overdose.

N-ethylpentylone can appear in other forms and cannot be distinguished from MDMA

N-ethylpentylone may also appear as a white or off-white powder/crystal. It can look and smell very similar to MDMA. It is not possible to tell the difference between a product containing MDMA and a product containing N-ethylpentylone without laboratory testing.

Minimising harm

If you have consumed this product and experience adverse effects, seek help immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

If you have had an experience with this drug and it is not an emergency, you can contact DanceWize. DanceWize is an anonymous, confidential service run by peers. Email to get in touch. Alternatively, look out for DanceWize volunteers at Victorian music festivals and events to chat face-to-face (follow at Link ).

All drug use comes with risks – even pure MDMA/ecstasy can produce serious side effects and death. Keep in mind that other false or contaminated drug products may circulate in Victoria, even if no specific warning has been issued about them. Get the facts at: Link .

If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol or drug use, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236 or visit Link for information and support to access treatment.

Reviewed 08 September 2022


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