Ecstasy and body temperature

In this column,

While this is true, according to Julie Holland’s book, which I read a month back, it’s not the Ecstasy itself that causes the massive temperature rises. Rather, the incessant dancing or other physical activity. I can verify firsthand the lack of significant temperature increase when you don’t exert yourself on the drug. When Ecstasy was being used in psychotherapy sessions in the early 1980s in controlled, non-exertive situations, core body temperatures rose by only 1 F. It is true that Ecstasy is neurotoxic. The best way to minimize this, according to Holland, is to take Prozac a couple of hours after use.

Gyan9, if what Cecil says in the column is accurate, about how ecstasy interferes with the reuptake mechanism of serotonin and causes it to build up, then doesn’t taking a Prozac after ecstasy use to combat its neurotoxic effects seem strange? Since Prozac and its ilk also raise serotonin levels by interfering with its reuptake mechanism (hence their name, “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” or SSRIs), wouldn’t that make the ecstasy MORE neurotoxic? Or is ecstasy’s neurotoxicity the result of some other mechanism and its own SSRI-like properties actually make it less neurotoxic than it would be otherwise, and raising the serotonin levels further helps more?

I have doubts about more serotonin helping, since extra serotonin seems to be harmful; I read an article about how the heart valve damage from taking fen-phen was a result of the fenfluramine and phentermine reacting synergistically and causing a large spike in serotonin blood levels. But then, that could be completely separate from neurotoxicity …

Check here.

According to the link above, the axonal damage (neurotoxicity) seems to occur, not due to MDMA per se, but because dopamine enters via the serotonin reuptake transporters. Prozac plugs these, hence preventing the damage. Or so the theory goes.

Correct the above to probably dopamine

Taking prozac with your MDMA will greatly reduce the effects. (cite)

I’m curious why someone taking X in the first place is worried about neurotoxicity at all =)

Umm… the idea is to take it “a couple hours after use”. Did you read Gyan’s post?

That has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.

Ahh I interpreted it as ingestion not, ‘after the effects have worn off’.

Thats a nice comment you made there by the way. Hope you feel better! :slight_smile:

Very interesting, Gyan9. I’m unable to access the site, but I’ll try again later. Seems strange that dopamine could slip in via the serotonin reuptake mechanism – aren’t serotonin reuptake transporters supposed to be specific for serotonin? If they can sweep up dopamine too, then wouldn’t plugging them with fluoxetine or some other SSRI also increase dopamine in the synapses as well as serotonin – which would seem to be counter to the stated purpose of SSRIs, which is to selectively increase serotonin levels? Or is there something about MDMA in particular that causes the serotonin reuptake transporters to start sweeping up dopamine too?

I love neuropharmacology … it’s extremely fascinating.

No, but the dopamine reuptake transporters are not plugged by Prozac. So, they can return to their original holding cells. The Prozac stops other neuromodulators (incl. dopamine) from entering serotonergic neurons. So, only serotonin levels should be affected.

During MDMA use, there’s also indication that MDMA enters the serotonergic axons as well.

Try the link once more, else I’ll cut-n-paste from there (I can access it fine).

Yeah, Gyan9, now I’m able to access the site. Must’ve just been a temporary glitch. I’ll continue reading this article and see if it answers my questions. Thanks.

Looks like my hypothesis about MDMA causing serotonin reuptake transporters to sweep up dopamine by mistake was correct, although it’s not the MDMA specifically which does this, but the massive serotonin depletion it causes – the reuptake transporters are apparently not nearly as chemical-specific as receptors are, so serotonin reuptake transporters can sweep up dopamine by mistake when there isn’t enough serotonin around, and dopamine is toxic to serotonergic neurons. Plus, inside the neuron, monoamine oxidase breaks the dopamine down into toxic metabolites, including hydrogen peroxide. Bad news all around for your serotonergic neurons, so taking an SSRI is apparently a good thing to do after you take MDMA.

… and Prozac/fluoxetine may be better than other SSRIs in this regard, because its relatively long (30-hour) half-life exceeds the period of extreme serotonin depletion (about 24 hours) while the shorter half-lives of many other SSRIs don’t.

Why take Prozac when Vitamin C is alot cheaper and easier.

<i>Why take Prozac when Vitamin C is alot cheaper and easier.</i>

Pardon my ignorance, but where do you get the vit C tablets from? And does it require a prescription?

Vitamin C tablets can be bought from a supermarket, chemist or health food shop without prescription.

1 gram of Vitamin C (I usually buy the 500mg tablets) is taken with the roll (MDMA), and another gram is taken 4 hours later.

If it were me, I’d take both. No need to leave the reuptake transporters unplugged when you could close them up and make sure no dopamine will be swept in by accident. This will help prevent the damage from the dopamine itself; the vitamin C will help keep any dopamine that does sneak in from causing oxidative stress.

Check out this slideshow for a simplified version of what goes on in the brain when on ecstacy.

I second INSANE1’s directive – the DanceSafe slideshow is an extremely informative source for the neuropharmacokinetics of ecstasy, and is essentially a simplified course in brain chemistry as well. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, it’s a great resource.

<Hijack>Does that make the DanceSafe site the “Straight Dopamine”?



Sorry, I had to do it.


I realize your remark was a “joke”, but the definitive resources on the net for this stuff are Erowid and Lycaeum