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a compound chemically related to amphetamine and having hallucinogenic properties; it is widely abused. Popularly called Ecstasy.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


A centrally active phenethylamine derivative related to amphetamine and methamphetamine, with central nervous system excitant and hallucinogenic properties.
Synonym(s): 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine

MDMA was first synthesized in Germany early in the 20th century and patented for use as an appetite suppressant, but because of its unacceptably high incidence of severe side effects it was never marketed for that indication. During the 1960s and 1970s, it was used experimentally as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Its administration has never been legal in the U.S., except as a Schedule I investigational drug. At present no medical indications for its use are recognized. Since the late 1980s, it has been an increasingly popular drug of abuse among white middle-class adolescents and young adults in metropolitan and suburban communities. More than 2 million tablets are smuggled into the U.S. each week from Belgium, Israel, and the Netherlands. It is also produced in illicit laboratories in this country. Known as "ecstasy" and by a number of other street synonyms (X, E, XTC, M&M, ADAM, Clarity, Lover's Speed, Hug Drug, Bean, Roll), it is usually dispensed as compressed tablets bearing various logos, particularly butterflies, lightning bolts, and four-leaf clovers. Tablets vary in concentration and purity and may contain substances other than MDMA, including caffeine and dextromethorphan, as adulterants or substitutes. MDMA is a club drug, that is, an agent sold and ingested at all-night dance parties ("raves," "techno parties," "trances") where most or all participants use the drug and where decor, entertainment, and ambiance are intended to enhance its psychotropic effects. Pharmacologically MDMA acts as a monoaminergic agonist, promoting copious serotonin release in midbrain centers. Taken orally a dose of 100 mg induces euphoria, loquacity, and a sense of increased energy and heightened social intimacy lasting 4-6 hours. Some users experience perceptual distortion and hallucinations, delirium, anxiety, panic attacks, aggressiveness, paranoia, or seizures. Physiologic effects include elevation of pulse and blood pressure, hyperthermia, dehydration, and muscular twitching and spasms (particularly jaw clenching) sometimes resulting in rhabdomyolysis. Excessive water consumption can lead to water intoxication. After the acute effects wear off, the user may experience depression, flashbacks, or amnesia. Some of these effects can persist or recur for weeks after use is discontinued. MDMA is frequently used in combination with other drugs, especially marijuana. Serially repeated dosing ("piggy-backing") increases the risk of acute psychosis, life-threatening cardiovascular emergencies, and malignant hyperthermia. Use of MDMA accounts for 5000-6000 emergency department visits yearly. Human and animal studies have documented a neurotoxic effect of MDMA on serotonin pathways. A single dose induces significant long-term neurochemical changes and repetitive use has been shown to cause selective and permanent brain damage manifested by irreversible cognitive impairment and memory loss.

Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


MDMA, see Ecstasy.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
of Participating Laboratories in 2008, n = 3 survey Drug or Class of Drugs mailings Amphetamines 2844 MDMA 371 Barbiturates 2765 Benzodiazepines 2719 BE/Cocaine 2830 THC 2767 Ethanol 523 Methadone 1232 Methaqualone 110 Opiates 2781 Oxycodone 267 Phencyclidine 2325 Propoxyphene 468 Tricyclics 1121 LSD 14 Abbreviations: BE, benzoylecgonine; LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide; MDMA, methylenedioxymethamphetamine; THC, tetrahydrocannabinol.
In a study of young Asian and Pacific Islander MSM, more than half used "party drugs," including MDMA (3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or "ecstasy"), inhaled nitrites, hallucinogens, crack, and amphetamines.
If you should spy a group of lab rats wailing away on their didges, the explanation might be that they were participants in a study that found exposure to loud music prolonged for as long as 5 days the effects of taking methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA/ecstasy).
A study shows that 21-day-old rat pups exposed in the womb to the drug MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, often called Ecstasy) during a period corresponding to the first trimester in human pregnancy exhibit changes in brain chemistry and behavior, report researchers at Rush Presbyterian-St.
(Admitted to practice: 2002) Schmidt was convicted of conspiracy to possess and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, consisting of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and more than five grams of cocaine, which are felonies, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, to be followed by supervised release for five years.
* Ecstasy, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), usually taken in pill form, is part stimulant and part hallucinogen.
The original paper suggested that ecstasy, technically known as methylenedioxymethamphetamine, could cause brain damage and death in lab animals at doses comparable to those taken by some teens.
Ecstasy, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is part hallucinogen and part stimulant.
Ecstasy--the street name given to Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)--can now be found in every state and virtually every town in America.
Ecstasy or MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a stimulant drug that has both the effects of methamphetamine ("speed") and mescaline (a hallucinogenic drug found in certain mushrooms).
According to the daily, this is the first case involving the drug ecstasy that was successfully tried since methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the core ingredient in the designer drug, was included in the list of dangerous drugs under the Dangerous Drugs Act in 1998.