Top of the page
Ecstasy (MDMA) is both a stimulant (amphetamine-like) and mild calming (tranquillizing) substance. Ecstasy is also called Adam, XTC, X, hug, beans, and the love drug. Ecstasy pills often have a logo, such as cartoon characters, stamped on them. This drug is most often taken as a pill, but the powder form is sometimes snorted or, rarely, injected into a vein.
The stimulant's effects help a person dance for long periods of time without getting tired. Ecstasy is said to enhance the sense of pleasure and boost self-confidence. Its hallucinogenic effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy. People who use the drug claim they experience feelings of closeness with other people and want to touch or hug others.
Ecstasy causes muscle tension and jaw-clenching, which has led to the use of baby pacifiers to reduce this discomfort. It also causes nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. In high doses ecstasy can cause a sharp increase in body temperature, leading to dehydration, muscle breakdown, kidney failure, or heart failure and death. A person who does not drink fluids can become severely dehydrated. When ecstasy is used with alcohol, the effects can be more harmful.
Ecstasy can cause confusion, depression, sleep problems, and severe anxiety that may last weeks after taking the drug. Over time, use of ecstasy can lead to thought and memory problems. If a rash that looks like acne develops after a person uses ecstasy, the person may be at risk for liver damage by continuing use of the drug.
Ecstasy usually does not last in a person's system longer than 12 to 16 hours. And many general drug screening tests do not detect it unless it is specifically targeted.
Current as ofMay 7, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family MedicineBrian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral HealthKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicinePeter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and AddictionMichael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: May 7, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Patrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family Medicine & Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction & Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.