Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 18, 2011

The ugly side of amphetamines: short- and long-term toxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘Ecstasy’), methamphetamine and d-amphetamine

Thomas Steinkellner, Michael Freissmuth, Harald H. Sitte and Therese Montgomery
From the journal

Abstract

Amphetamine (‘Speed’), methamphetamine (‘Ice’) and its congener 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ‘Ecstasy’) are illicit drugs abused worldwide for their euphoric and stimulant effects. Despite compelling evidence for chronic MDMA neurotoxicity in animal models, the physiological consequences of such toxicity in humans remain unclear. In addition, distinct differences in the metabolism and pharmacokinetics of MDMA between species and different strains of animals prevent the rationalisation of realistic human dose paradigms in animal studies. Here, we attempt to review amphetamine toxicity and in particular MDMA toxicity in the pathogenesis of exemplary human pathologies, independently of confounding environmental factors such as poly-drug use and drug purity.


Corresponding author

Received: 2010-9-14
Accepted: 2010-11-16
Published Online: 2011-06-18
Published in Print: 2011-02-01

©2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York