Bilateral sixth nerve palsy associated with MDMA ("ecstasy") abuse

Am J Ophthalmol. 2000 Mar;129(3):408-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(99)00354-2.


Purpose: To report the association of methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") abuse and bilateral sixth nerve palsy.

Methods: Case report.

Results: A 17-year-old male presented with horizontal diplopia in all directions of gaze after having taken MDMA tablets at 5-day to 7-day intervals during a 2-month period. Examination showed bilateral sixth nerve palsy. Ocular motility returned to normal within 5 days without use of MDMA and with no other treatment.

Conclusion: Methylenedioxymetamphetamine "ecstasy" abuse should be considered in the differential diagnosis in otherwise unexplained sixth nerve palsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abducens Nerve Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Adolescent
  • Diplopia / chemically induced*
  • Hallucinogens / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology*
  • Visual Fields


  • Hallucinogens
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine