Phencyclidine (PCP) is believed to be the first arylcyclohexylamine with recognized anesthetic properties, but several arylcyclohexylamines were described before PCP in the scientific literature, beginning with PCA (1-phenylcyclohexan-1-amine) the synthesis of which was first published in 1907. PCE was reported in 1953 and PCMo (4-(1-phenyl-cyclohexyl)-morpholine in 1954, with PCMo described as a potent sedative. Parke-Davis was a pioneer in the study of anesthetics based on arylcyclohexylamine. This included the 1956 synthesis and subsequent synthesis of phencyclidine. These compounds, particularly PCP and its analogues were first discovered as illegal recreational drugs in the 1970s. They are known for their dissociative hallucinogenic effects and euphoriant properties. The class has seen scientific research on stimulant, analgesic and neuroprotective drugs, as well as clandestine chemists searching for new recreational drugs, expand over the years.
An arylcyclohexylamine consists of a cyclohexylamine module with an attached aryl moiety. The amine’s aryl group is placed geminal to it. The simplest cases of aryl moiety are usually a phenyl-ring with some additional substitution. The amine is not usually primary. Secondary amines like methylamino and ethylamino or Tertiary Cycloalkylamines like piperidino or pyrrolidino are more common N-substitutes.