- An illicit (illegal) drug, considered a recreational or party drug. It acts as both a stimulant and a hallucinogen. The chemical name is methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Ecstasy damages the brain, perhaps by affecting serotonin. German researchers studied 28 ecstasy users (who had used the drug an average of 3.5 times a month for about 2 years) and found they performed significantly worse on tests of memory, learning, and general intelligence than nondrug users and than pot smokers. (Ref.: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2000;68:719-725). Ecstasy achieves its high by preventing the brain from reabsorbing the chemical serotonin, thereby prolonging its effects in the body. One study of ecstasy users has shown that they have fewer serotonin "transporters" in the brain; whether the damage is reversible is unknown. Ecstasy is also considered a "possible" teratogen, an agent that can disturb the development of the embryo or fetus. Teratogens halt the pregnancy or produce a congenital malformation. British researchers have reported that of 136 pregnancies during which the mothers took Ecstasy, 78 babies were born alive and of these, 15.4% had birth defects including clubfoot, skull defects, toe malformations and two cases of congenital heart defects. By comparison, the malformation rate for pregnant women in the general population is about 3%. This study was not large enough to prove a link between Ecstasy and birth defects, but these findings are good evidence that Ecstasy should be completely avoided by pregnant women. (Ref.: Lancet 1999;354:1441-1442.)
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* * *1) a trance state in which intense absorption (as in religious ideation) is accompanied by loss of sense perception and voluntary control2) often cap a synthetic amphetamine analog C11H15NO2 used illicitly for its mood-enhancing and hallucinogenic properties called also MDMA, methylenedioxymethamphetamine, XTCec·stat·ic ek-'stat-ik adj
* * *n.the street name for methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a mildly hallucinogenic drug that generates feelings of euphoria in those who take it. Its most common side-effect is hyperthermia; drinking large quantities of water to combat the intense thirst produced by taking the drug may result in fatal damage to the body's fluid balance. Its manufacture, sale, use, and possession are illegal.
* * *Ec·sta·sy (ekґstə-se) popular name for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
Medical dictionary. 2011.