Acute Psychological Effects of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”) are Attenuated by the Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor Citalopram

  title={Acute Psychological Effects of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”) are Attenuated by the Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor Citalopram},
  author={Matthias E. Liechti and C. R. Baumann and Alex Gamma and Franz X. Vollenweider},

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The serotonin uptake inhibitor citalopram reduces acute cardiovascular and vegetative effects of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (‘Ecstasy’) in healthy volunteers

It is suggested that physiological effects of MDMA in humans are partially due to an interaction of MDMA with the serotonin carrier and a subsequent release of serotonin.

Investigation of serotonin-1A receptor function in the human psychopharmacology of MDMA

The findings suggest that MDMA differentially affects higher cognitive functions, but does not support the hypothesis from animal studies, that some of the MDMA effects are causally mediated through action at the 5-HT1A receptor system.

Duloxetine Inhibits Effects of MDMA (“Ecstasy") In Vitro and in Humans in a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Laboratory Study

The findings confirm the important role of MDMA-induced 5-HT and NE release in the psychotropic effects of MDMA and suggest duloxetine may be useful in the treatment of psychostimulant dependence.

The effects of fluoxetine on the subjective and physiological effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in humans

These results suggest that blockade of 5-HT reuptake by fluoxetine can dampen the effects of MDMA and further supports the role of5-HT in its behavioral effects in humans.

Which neuroreceptors mediate the subjective effects of MDMA in humans? A summary of mechanistic studies

The results indicate that the overall psychological effects of MDMA largely depend on carrier‐mediated 5‐HT release, while the more stimulant‐like euphoric mood effects of ecstasy appear to relate, at least in part, to dopamine D2 receptor stimulation.

The Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”)

Evidence for the occurrence of MDMA-induced neurotoxic damage in human users remains equivocal, although some biochemical and functional data suggest that damage may occur in the brains of heavy users.

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) neurotoxicity in rats: a reappraisal of past and present findings

MDMA-induced 5- HT depletions are not necessarily synonymous with neurotoxic damage, however, doses of MDMA which do not cause long-term 5-HT depletion can have protracted effects on behavior, suggesting even moderate doses of the drug may pose risks.



Reinforcing subjective effects of (+/-) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy") may be separable from its neurotoxic actions: clinical evidence.

It is indicated that fluoxetine does not block MDMA's reinforcing subjective effects and raise the possibility that MDMA's psychoactive effects may be separable from its neurotoxic actions.

Psychopathological, neuroendocrine and autonomic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDE), psilocybin and d-methamphetamine in healthy volunteers Results of an experimental double-blind placebo-controlled study

The view that entactogens constitute a distinct psychoactive substance class taking an intermediate position between hallucinogens and stimulants is supported, and is in line with both users’ reports and results from previous experimental studies.

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy") selectively destroys brain serotonin terminals in rhesus monkeys.

Data demonstrating potent and selective effects of MDMA on various brain serotonin parameters in rhesus monkeys suggest that the drug may produce similar effects in humans.

Opposite effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on sensorimotor gating in rats versus healthy humans

A surprising disparity between the effects of the drug in rats and humans may reflect a species-specific difference in the mechanism of action of MDMA or in the behavioral expression of a similar pharmacological effect, or both.

3,4-Methylenedioxy analogues of amphetamine: Defining the risks to humans

Effect of acute monoamine depletion on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity

Microdialysis studies on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced dopamine release: effect of dopamine uptake inhibitors.

  • J. NashJ. Brodkin
  • Biology, Chemistry
    The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics
  • 1991
It is suggestive that MDMA increases the concentration of DA in the striatum, in part, via a carrier-mediated mechanism which is largely independent of its effects on 5-HT release.