Erowid References Database
Whitaker-Azmitia PM, Aronson TA.
“'Ecstasy' (MDMA)-induced panic”.
Am J Psychiatry. 1989;146(1):119.
'Ecstasy' (3,4-methy(enedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA), a 'designer drug' that has been advocated as an adjunct to psychotherapy, has become increasingly popular as a recreational drug despite its schedule I status. Indeed, a recent informal survey of Stanford University undergraduates indicated that as many as one-third of those polled had taken the drug (1).
The effects of MDMA are usually euphorigenic. It typically produces a heightened sense of self-awareness and insightfulness and greater feelings of closeness to others. These effects are generally considered to be mediated through the serotonergic neurotransmitter system (2). However, we have recently become aware of three cases in which dysphoric episodes were produced by the drug. None of the individuals in these cases had a previous personal or family history of panic disorder. These dysphoric responses must be considered in any future deliberations on the legal status of MDMA.
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