whats the straight dope on Ecstacy

I have taken ecstacy a few times, and on one or two occassions have had fairly bad reactions to it. where i sweat massively and the usualy “come on Shakes” have lasted for more than an hour, i feel like i am burning up and going to collapse, but fight through it. Admittedly on these occassions i had been drinking for a good 4 to 5 hours before hand and that probably wasnt a good idea.
I am thinking about doing it again in the next week or so and just wanted to find out what it actually does to you and is it really all that bad?


this is agreat site i am sure you can find the info you seek on there.

I’ve heard that pure MDMA (Ecstacy) is not harmful for the body or mind. The negative effects encountered are related to the other substances that the Ecstacy has been ‘cut’ with (Heroin, Meth, etc…). No cite.

There was a recent study that had been touted as proof of Ecstacy’s damage, but it was revealed that the research was seriously screwed up, and the report was retracted.


I have not heard of any clinical studies that show a detrimental effect from pure MDMA - besides the ‘tuesday crash’ that user experience - the brain’s way of rebalancing the neurotrasmitters effected by MDMA.

This article http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1123211,00.html appeared in the UK press today. This site: http://www.erowid.org/ has good info on all sorts of drugs.

I’m not a moderator and I’m not your parent, but do you really think talking about using illegal drugs here is a good idea?



Oh, and it looks like using MDMA stops you from spelling Ecstasy correctly as well… :stuck_out_tongue:

On preview I note that the person asking the question in alterego’s link also can’t spell. wtf?

Check www.ecstasy.org for some info.

The last time i read about about it (which was a while ago) i think scientists had proven that moderate doses of ecstasy (ie those normally taken by humans) permanently changes the brain, and that it is likely this change can be considered damage. Large doses of ecstasy (which would be most than most users take) have definately been proven to be neurotoxic.

If you’re getting the reactions you describe to it every time though i would very seriously advise you against taking any more. Quite a few people feel warm and maybe even slightly nauseous when coming up, but nothing as severe as the reactions you get.

I do agree that it’s probably unwise to discuss illegal drugs here, but there’s something I really need to clarify. MDMA on its own has been shown to be neuroxic, and there are clinical studies examining the effect of pure MDMA on memory.

First, it’s mostly a fallacy that MDMA tablets sold on the street are full of impurities (‘heroin, meth, etc.’) Dancesafe’s GC/MS results at http://www.dancesafe.org/labtesting/ (now discontinued, but old results are there) show that most black-market MDMA tablets are wholly MDMA or one of its N-alkyl analogs (MDA, MDEA, etc.). When tablets are not pure MDMA, the ‘additives’ are usually relatively harmless (caffeine, pseudoephedrine, etc.), or they are drugs that are less dangerous than MDMA. Essentially the only neurotoxic drug that is ever found in MDMA tablets – other than MDMA itself – is methamphetamine. The amounts are rarely high. I should note that heroin, which is commonly believed to be mixed with MDMA tablets, is neither neurotoxic nor orally active. (From a black-marketing point of view, tablets containing heroin are therefore a waste of an expensive resource that would be profitable if sold on its own.)

Second, MDMA itself is widely agreed to be neurotoxic. Ricaurte’s experiments, and those of others in his field, often conducted experiments where animals were given pure MDMA and evidence of neurotoxicity was discovered. While it’s true that studies into the long-term effects of MDMA on memory in humans can’t allow for the fact that the tablets they took were pure, we do have the animal evidence to support the idea that MDMA is largely responsible for any memory deficit that is observed. (Add to this the fact that it’s likely that most of the tablets they took were MDMA.)

Moreover, there is evidence that the breakdown of MDMA by monoamine oxidase leads to toxic metabolites, probably including hydrogen peroxide. MDMA’s chemical structure leaves it wide open to the generation of free radicals which can cause oxidative damage to the brain. This is only one suggested mechanism for the neurotoxicity observed with MDMA (another has to do with its activity on dopamine neurons), but I think it’s chemically sound.

akrako1: The ‘suicide crash’ isn’t some way of the brain reallocating neurotransmitters affected by MDMA. One reason for it is that the neurotransmitters involved in the MDMA high are depleted, and need to be replaced before normalcy can be restored. The other reason is that MDMA permanently inhibits tryptophan hydroxylase, an enzyme required for making serotonin (one of those ‘neurotransmitters affected by MDMA’). With much of the machinery for synthesizing serotonin made inactive by MDMA molecules, much less serotonin is available – and normal amounts won’t be available until the deactivated enzymes are replaced. This is why MDMA users often feel extremely depressed several days after using the drug.

Zaphod7: Mixing alcohol with a drug fairly well-established to be neurotoxic is probably unwise. There is some evidence that the depressant effect of alcohol may alleviate some MDMA-related neurotoxicity. For the most part, if you’re getting reactions like that, there may be something about your biochemistry that makes MDMA use particularly risky. (For example, some percent of the population lacks sufficient amounts of the liver enzyme that breaks down MDMA, and a very small number of people have suffered sudden, acute liver failure after taking MDMA.)

yeah i didnt like the reactions the 2 times I had those reactions, but have attributed them to the amunt of alcohol I had consumed, as often I forget that I have a limit and just drink until the place shuts or it gets light so I think the fact that i was already dehydrated started it.

I have also had this reaction from combining other designer drugs, I had a terrible reaction about a year a go after a party at my house where my friends put some speed in one of my drinks (funny guys, they also locked me in the boot of my car once, when i was on speed, i dont see them much anymore) so i was drinking then someone brought out some pot and after smoking a bit of pot i just couldnt take it and my body went into mayhem my heart was beating at a million miles a minute and my girlfriend was actually scared which she normally isnt cause she knows how i am, i threw up i just felt like crap and that is the last time I took any drugs but certain social upcoming events have prompted me to consider it again, for one last hurah on the happy pills.

Thanks all for your information i really want to consider this properly before doing it again, and my girlfriend is starting to take them more and more and I am trying to educate her on their problems because I really dont want to fall back into that cycle and dont want to fall into the cycle my family fell into, thats why i asked here, for information and what it is doing to me.


True, but you also need to consider the dosage,route and frequency. IV admininstration will produce quite higher bloodstream concentration than oral admin…

Again, true. But, it’s not irreducible. Boosting with 5-HTP or tryptophan starting a couple of days before, taking vitamin C during, and a SSRI (preferably Prozac) shortly after but before six hours from consumption can reduce the axonal damage from the dopamine entering the sertonergic neurons.

More likely, it’s just the queasy feeling you get from mixing alcohol and E. You shouldn’t be doing that combination in the first place since it’s a Major liver strain.

I thought MDMA stood for methylene dioxyMETHAMPHETAMINE…? What’s the difference?

Amusing E Anecdote—A guy I used to work with would often exit the office and take long breaks or leave work early. When I asked why, he said he gets frequent panic attacks out of nowhere, his palms sweating, his heart racing, his body undergoing involuntary paroxysmal spasms & chills, ideas of stark terror racing through his brain, his hands & fingers numb. I asked him if he knew why this happened, and he said yes. He took MDMA a bunch of times at parties over the course of four years, and now he has a condition called irreparable brain damage. His doctors have verified that his are extremely common symptoms of MDMA use. He takes his medications, but medicine is not an exact science. The meds don’t always work 100%. The condition is permanent, so the big drug companies will be getting his money (and our tax dollars) for more psychotropic pharmaceutical products now for the rest of his life. He had been a highly skilled hockey player competing in European tournaments and was even offered a tryout with an NHL club once. No more hockey now. Basically an invalid at 23 years old. He says he had fun, though. Cool.

So visit all the E sites, do your homework, and make sure you do it “RIGHT!” Follow the wise advice of the Experts, and roll on, children, roll on. But do share absolutely as much intellectual output as possible here at the SDMB right away while you still know everything–hard telling how sharp, articulate or coherent you’ll be later on. Be cool & have fun!


I would strongly suggest you stay off the E if you’ve been drinking. One or the other, but not both… ecstasy by itself depletes the body of moisture and increases body temperature, while alcohol inhibits your ability to detect and control your own body temperature (and, of course, is a diuretic)- you could be burning up and never even know it.

Zaphod7 - its possible those reactions were due to the alcohol. If you take ecstasy while pretty drunk then you will feel hot, and feel like you have to sit down. However it is also possible your body doesn’t react well to it. If you do decide that you’re going to do it again, then don’t do it while drunk, and do a small dose like 1/2 or 1/4 of a pill to start with just to see if you get those reactions again. If you do, and you’re not drunk then don’t take any more. Obviously i don’t condone the use of illegal drugs though, and advise you against it.

Both speed and marijuana make your heart beat faster, which is probably why you got those reactions that time.

Oh and Roches or Gyan9 may be able to correct me, but i don’t think ecstasy is physically addictive. Thus it would be difficult for your girlfriend to become addicted to it, especially as the more you take it, the less effect you have. If you do take it fairly regularly, the effect diminishes until you have to have a break of several months to get effects from it again.


MDMA is a single chemical compound, it is not a mixture of other drugs. I think it may be a derivative of methamphetamine, hence why it appears in the name.


AFAIK ecstasy doesn’t in itself dehydrate the body. What can dehydrate users if they dance and sweat a lot. However you’re right - mixing alcohol and ecstasy is a bad idea. As Gyan9 says, its a very big liver strain. Its also a little pointless as the alcohol tends to negate a lot of the good effects from the ecstasy.