Controlled trials of ecstasy administration in humans

Magí Farré Albadalejo, Pere N. Roset Arissó, Rafael De La Torre Fornell, Sandra Poudevida Jürschik, Sergio Abanades León, Ana Ma Peiró Peiró, Yolanda Álvarez García, Nieves Pizarro Lozano, Mireia Segura Agullo, Jordi Camí Morell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


Objective: to compile and analyse knowledge about the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of MDMA from controlled clinical trials in humans. Methods: the typical design of the trials was masked (double blind), randomized, cross-over, and controlled with placebo and/or an active drug. Results: MDMA increases the heart rate, arterial blood pressure, oxygen consumption by the heart and produced an enlargement of the QTC interval in the ECG. No statistical differences were found with placebo in the increase of body temperature. MDMA induce euphoria, well-being and activation. Neither ilusions nor hallucinations were described. An increase of beta activity and a decrease of alpha activity in the EEG was seen. A dose-dependent increase in the plasma levels of ACTH, cortisol, prolactin, dehydroepiandrosterone and vasopresine was observed. Immunogically, MDMA posses an immunosupresor effect. Its pharmacokinetic properties seems to be non-lineal, with a tendency to accumulation at high doses. Conclusion: the results obtained in these controlled clinical trials increase our previous knowledge on MDMA and add new data related to its hormonal and immunological effects. Further studies are needed in order to better understand the effects and toxicity of MDMA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-134
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Controlled clinical trial
  • MDMA
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacological effects


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