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A person may experience the intoxicating effects of MDMA within 45 minutes or so after taking a single dose. Those effects include an enhanced sense of well-being, 28,53 increased extroversion, 27,53 emotional warmth, empathy toward others, 54 and a willingness to discuss emotionally-charged memories. However, MDMA can also cause a of acute adverse health effects.
For example, while fatal overdoses on MDMA are rare, they can potentially be life threatening—with symptoms including high blood pressure hypertensionfaintness, 8,56 panic attacks, 57 and in severe cases, a loss of consciousness and seizures. Because of its stimulant properties and the situations in which it is often taken, MDMA is associated with vigorous physical activity for extended periods in warm environments. This can lead to one of the most ificant, although rare, acute adverse effects—a marked rise in body temperature hyperthermia.
However, this could increase the risk of electrolyte imbalance or brain swelling because MDMA causes the body to retain water. MDMA can also produce other adverse health effects, including involuntary jaw clenching, 53 lack of appetite, 28,53 mild detachment from oneself depersonalizationillogical or disorganized thoughts, restless legs, 28 nausea, 56,57,66 hot flashes or chills, 8,56 headache, sweating, 8,57 and muscle or t stiffness. In the hours after taking the drug, MDMA produces ificant reductions in perceiving and predicting motion—for example, the ability to judge whether a driver is in danger of colliding with another car.
This emphasizes the potential dangers of performing complex or skilled activities, such as driving a car, while under the influence of this drug. Recreational use of MDMA is often characterized by repeated drug taking over a of days bingesfollowed by periods of no drug taking. In one animal study, this pattern of use produced irregular heartbeat Ecstasy-effects of drug and heart damage.
Sleep disturbances, lack of appetite, concentration difficulties, depression, 79 heart disease, 81,82 and impulsivity 83 have been associated with regular use of MDMA. In addition, heavy MDMA use over a 2-year period of time is associated with decreased cognitive function. More research is needed to understand the specific effects of regular MDMA use. Various studies have found that MDMA use is associated with risky sexual behaviors.
For example, both males and females who use MDMA are more likely than alcohol-drinking controls to engage in risky sexual behaviors e.
People who use heavily are also more likely to have been tested for HIV, though they believe they are at low risk for contracting the disease. Homosexuals and bisexuals who use MDMA, both male and female, reported more sexual partners and more injection drug use—but did not have higher rates of unprotected sex and needle sharing—compared to heterosexuals who use MDMA.
National Institutes of Health. Drug Topics.
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