Making a medicine out of MDMA.

  title={Making a medicine out of MDMA.},
  author={Ben Sessa and David J. Nutt},
  journal={The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science},
  volume={206 1},
  • B. Sessa, D. Nutt
  • Published 2015
  • Medicine, Psychology, Biology
  • The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
From its first use 3,4,-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has been recognised as a drug with therapeutic potential. Research on its clinical utility stopped when it entered the recreational drug scene but has slowly resurrected in the past decade. Currently there is enough evidence for MDMA to be removed from its Schedule 1 status of 'no medical use' and moved into Schedule 2 (alongside other misused but useful medicines such as heroin and amphetamine). Such a regulatory move would liberate… 

Psychedelic drugs—a new era in

  • D. Nutt
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Dialogues in clinical neuroscience
  • 2019
The renaissance of classical psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD plus 3,4-methylene dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA—ecstasy) in psychiatric research is covered, which is likely to see these medicines approved for clinical practice soon afterwards.

A Review of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-Assisted Psychotherapy

Other potential therapeutic applications for MDMA therapy are described, including contemporary studies treating anxiety associated with autism and the authors' ongoing study exploring the potential role for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat alcohol use disorder.

Can 3,4,-methylenedioxymethamphetamine therapy be used to treat alcohol use disorder?

MDMA has some unique pharmacological characteristics – particularly its capacity for reducing the fear response and facilitating engagement in therapy around past psychological trauma – that could make it a useful candidate for tackling the core features of alcohol use disorder.

The Emerging MDMA Pandemic

A new wave of epidemic is emerging that is posing serious mental health risks to people all around the world caused by a club or party drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), used primarily as a recreational drug associated with the “rave” culture and, as yet, has no accepted medical uses.

Dark Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

The synthesis of MDMA is detailed as well as its pharmacology, metabolism, adverse effects, and potential use in medicine, which discusses its history and why it is perhaps the most important compound for the future of psychedelic science.

Safety pharmacology of acute MDMA administration in healthy subjects

MDMA administration was overall safe in physically and psychiatrically healthy subjects and in a medical setting, however, the risks of MDMA are likely higher in patients with cardiovascular disease and remain to be investigated in Patients with psychiatric disorders.

MDMA and memory, addiction, and depression: dose-effect analysis

The present dose-ranging study provides further evidence that 3 mg/kg is the threshold for MDMA-induced amnesia and demonstrates that careful selection of MDMA dose is critical.

Why MDMA therapy for alcohol use disorder? And why now?

  • B. Sessa
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • 2018

Motor delays in MDMA (ecstasy) exposed infants persist to 2 years.

A psychological exploration of long-term LSD users

All research involving the psychoactive compound lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was terminated globally following its prohibition more than 50 years ago, though illicit use remained fairly stable.



Could MDMA be useful in the treatment of post‐traumatic stress disorder?

Dr Sessa discusses controversies and describes a UK‐based MDMA/PTSD currently in development, which she describes as an adjunct to post‐trauma psychological therapy.

Brain serotonin transporter binding in former users of MDMA ('ecstasy').

To the extent that [(11)C]DASB binding provides an index of the integrity of serotonin neurons, the findings suggest that MDMA use may not result in long-term damage to serotonin neurons when used recreationally in humans.

Effects of MDMA and Intranasal Oxytocin on Social and Emotional Processing

The present findings provide only limited support for the idea that oxytocin produces the prosocial effects of MDMA, which increases euphoria and feelings of sociability.

The safety and efficacy of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can be administered to posttraumatic stress disorder patients without evidence of harm, and it may be useful in patients refractory to other treatments.

Subjective reports of the effects of MDMA in a clinical setting.

The psychological effects of MDMA were first relaboratory of Alexander Shulgin, Ph.D., who had colported in 1978 by Shulkin and Nichols and was no synthesis, and was synthesized in the actual or possible pregnancy.

MDMA effects consistent across laboratories

The subjective and physiological responses to the drug across three different laboratories and the influence of prior MDMA use indicate that the pharmacological effects of MDMA are robust and highly reproducible across settings.

A Window into the Intoxicated Mind? Speech as an Index of Psychoactive Drug Effects

Abused drugs can profoundly alter mental states in ways that may motivate drug use. These effects are usually assessed with self-report, an approach that is vulnerable to biases. Analyzing speech

MDMA alters emotional processing and facilitates positive social interaction

MDMA alters basic emotional processes by slowing identification of negative emotions and increasing responses to positive emotions in others, and positively affects behavior and perceptions during actual social interaction.

A reconsideration and response to Parrott AC (2013) “Human psychobiology of MDMA or ‘Ecstasy’: an overview of 25 years of empirical research”

Though it critiques an attempt by other authors to characterize the risks of MDMA, the review fails to produce a competing model of risk assessment, and does not discuss potential benefits, which may deter researchers from further investigating an innovative treatment.

MDMA decreases the effects of simulated social rejection