Isopropylbenzylamine is a chemical compound used as an intermediate in the pharmaceutical industry as a precursor to the manufacture of some drugs. It has recently come to the attention of the DEA due to its use by illicit methamphetamine manufacturers as a diluting agent.This amine's ammonium salt is very similar in appearance and physical properties to methamphetamine and is cheap and not currently illegal. Isopropylbenzylamine is a structural isomer of methamphetamine, and has the same molar mass. It is also a secondary amine like methamphetamine, and forms salts in the same way. Consequently it looks very similar to methamphetamine and has a similar melting point, and can be used to dilute methamphetamine without this being obvious to users, although some subtle differences such as slightly higher melting point and softer crystals may be apparent. Isopropylbenzylamine is not thought to have any stimulant effects in its own right however, and its toxicity is unknown. Other " cutting agents" found to have been used for methamphetamine include the related compounds methylbenzylamine and ethylbenzylamine, as well as dimethylsulfone.
Isopropylbenzylammonium crystals seized by DEA.