Ecstasy (E) / MDMA

Ecstasy (E) can lead to emotional openness, euphoria, and an intense, energetic, spiritual high. It can connect people freely and openly with each other, promote deep inner thinking and analysis, or lead to a reduction in cynical or critical thoughts.

The main risks with 'E' use are:

Dehydration and overheating: The likelihood of this increases if you dance in a crowded, hot club or dance party.
Difference in pills: The chemical that gives 'E' its good reputation is MDMA. Because 'E' is illegal, the production of 'E' is unregulated. This means there is no guarantee that what you buy is what you get: ecstasy is often cut with other substances, some of which can be very harmful. (See below for more on the differences between MDMA and 'E'.)
Depression: Many users report feeling "down" for a couple of days after using 'E'.
Jaw clenching: There is research to show that 'E' users have greater tooth wear than non-users, a product of jaw clenching while high or in the days after an 'E' trip.
Water toxicity: You can have serious problems if you drink too much water and do not piss (or sweat if you dance).
Drug Class:
Entactogen.
Individual drugs:
MDMA, MDA, MDEA
Common Terms:
E, Ecstasy, Disco biscuits, MDMA, pills, X.
Standard Dose:
  • E is usually sold as a pill. These pills come in various sizes and colours, usually stamped with different logos. "Pure MDMA" usually come in a capsule as a white to off-white powder.
  • Almost always swallowed as a pill or capsule.
  • 100-125mg (this varies widely when in pill form, and there maybe none present).
  • Can be snorted, injected or hooped (placed up the ass).
The Buzz:

For an excellent explanation of why E makes you feel the way it does, check out the slide show on the DanceSafe website.
  • When swallowed the effects come on within 20 - 40 minutes.
  • Initially little rushes of exhilaration until the peak high is felt 60 - 90 minutes after ingestion.
  • Increases in heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and pupil dilation.
  • Suppression of appetite.
  • A sense of energy and alertness similar to, but not as euphoric as, amphetamine (speed).
  • A warm state of empathy and good feelings of self, and an understanding and acceptance of others.
  • An MDMA "high" lasts 3-5 hours, although many pills produce effects lasting longer, as they contain other substances.
Overdose and other negative effects:
  • In high doses, or when in a hot environment, ecstasy can lead to overheating.
  • In high doses ecstasy can lead to seizures, strokes, heart attacks or difficulty breathing (even in experienced users).
  • After-effects can include, or continued use can lead to, depression, agitation, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. Continued use can also lead to these symptoms.
  • Jaw clenching and teeth grinding can wear down your teeth or create cuts inside your mouth.
  • Temporary short term memory impairment (you forget what's going on or what conversations you are having).
  • Difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection.
Dangerous Drug Combinations:
  • Mixing with other stimulants or depressants can increase your risk of negative effects.
  • Avoid taking E if you are on anti-depressant medication, especially MAOIs.
  • Be careful if you mix with Viagra®. If you do mix, take only ½ of each. If you get an erection that lasts more than 4 hours, go to a hospital emergency room.
HIV Medications & Ecstasy/MDMA
  • All Protease Inhibitors (PIs), as well as Elvitegravir /Cobicistat/TDF/FTC (Stribild) increase the amount of E/MDMA in your system. This is important to consider, as MDMA puts stress on your heart.
  • Idinavir (Crixivan) can increase chance of kidney stones due to dehydration.
  • Iopinavir/Ritonavir (Kaltra/Norvir) increases E/MDMA levels 5-10 times. Please avoid taking MDMA if you are on these medications.
  • Most MDMA is adultered with other substances, especially PMA/PMMA. It is recommended you test your MDMA to know what’s in it. You can order testing kits through TRIP.

    Other Medications & Ecstasy/MDMA
  • Anti-depressants: can cause ‘serotonin syndrome’, with symptoms of agitation, sleeplessness, sweating, faster heart beat and muscle spasms. If this happens, seek medical help immediately. If you’re on anti-depressants get medical advice before taking E/MDMA or PMA/PMMA.