3-MeO-PCE acts principally as an NMDA receptor antagonist. NMDA receptors allow for electrical signals to pass between neurons in the brain and spinal column; for the signals to pass, the receptor must be open. Dissociatives close the NMDA receptors by blocking them. This disconnection of neurons leads to loss of feeling, difficulty moving, and eventually an almost identical equivalent of the famous “k-hole.”
3-MeO-PCE has Ki values of 61 nM for the NMDA receptor, 743 nM for the dopamine transporter, 2097 nM for the histamine H2 receptor, 964 nM for the Alpha-2A adrenergic receptor, 115 nM for the serotonin transporter, 4519 nM for the σ1 receptor and 525 nM for the σ2 receptor.
3-MeO-PCE, or N-Ethyl-1-(3-methoxyphenyl)cyclohexan-1-amine, is classed as an arylcyclohexylamine drug. Ayrlcyclohexylamine drugs are named for their structures which include a cyclohexane ring bound to an aromatic ring along with an amine group. 3-MeO-PCE contains a phenyl ring with a methoxy (CH3-O-) substituent at R3 bonded to a cyclohexane ring. Bound to the same carbon (R1) of the cyclohexanone ring is an amino ethyl chain -NCH2CH3. 3-MeO-PCE, like MXE, contains an amino ethyl chain rather than the amino methyl chain found in DCK and ketamine. 3-MeO-PCE is analogous to MXE, but lacks an R2 substituted ketone. It is also homologous to 3-MeO-PCP but lacks the additional carbons to complete a piperidine ring.