Acute effects of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) on EEG oscillations: alone and in combination with ethanol or THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)
Alcohol is frequently used in combination with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Both drugs affect cardiovascular function, hydration and temperature regulation, but may have partly opposing effects. The present study aims to assess the acute physiologic effects of (co-) administration of MDMA and ethanol over time. A four-way, double blind, randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled study in 16 healthy volunteers (9 male and 7 female) between the ages of 18 and 29. MDMA (100 mg) was given orally and blood ethanol concentration was maintained at pseudo-steady state levels of 0.6 per thousand by a three-hour 10% intravenous ethanol clamp. Cardiovascular function, temperature and hydration measures were recorded throughout the study days. Ethanol did not significantly affect physiologic function, with the exception of a short lasting increase in heart rate. MDMA potently increased heart rate and blood pressure and induced fluid retention as well as an increase in temperature. Co-administration of ethanol with MDMA did not affect cardiovascular function compared to the MDMA alone condition, but attenuated the effects of MDMA on fluid retention and showed a trend for attenuation of MDMA-induced temperature increase. In conclusion, co-administration of ethanol and MDMA did not exacerbate physiologic effects compared to all other drug conditions, and moderated some effects of MDMA alone.