MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine)

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) commonly known as ecstasy (E), is a psychoactive drug in the amphetamine classes of drugs with both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. Under the DSM-5, it is officially classified as a hallucinogen.

  • MDMA is an agonist at the 5HT2A receptor
    • The serotonin receptor action is responsible for the hallucinogenic effects.
  • MDMA also has actions on dopamine and norepinephrine (NE) release (NE is thought to have effects on the cardiovascular system).
  • Desired effects include increased empathy, euphoria, and heightened sensations. When taken by mouth, effects begin after 30–45 minutes and last 3–6 hours.
  • MDMA intoxication: hallucinogenic stimulant: euphoria, hallucinations, disinhibition, hyperactivity, increased thirst, bruxism, distorted sensory and time perception.
    • Life-threatening effects include hypertension, tachycardia, hyperthermia, hyponatremia, serotonin syndrome.
      • Fatal hyperthermia can be a consequence from MDMA use in rare cases.[1]
  • MDMA withdrawal: depression, fatigue, change in appetite, difficulty concentrating, anxiety.