Neuropsychiatric consequences (atypical psychosis and complex-partial seizures) of ecstasy use: possible evidence for toxicity-vulnerability predictors and implications for preventative and clinical care

J Psychopharmacol. 2003 Sep;17(3):342-5. doi: 10.1177/02698811030173018.


Two case reports of ecstasy abuse and its serious neuropsychiatric complications are presented. The first patient developed a florid paranoid psychosis resembling schizophrenia after repeated long-term recreational ecstasy abuse, and significant alterations with intermittent paroxysmal discharges were found in his electroencephalogram. The second patient showed an atypical paranoid psychosis with Fregoli syndrome and a series of complex-partial epileptic seizures with secondary generalization after a first single ecstasy dose. Both subjects presented considerable vulnerability; the first a minimal brain dysfunction after perinatal asphyxia and a persisting attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the second a long-lasting opioid addiction. In vulnerable individuals, dose-independent ecstasy abuse can lead to unpredictable and potentially dangerous neuropsychiatric sequelae which require proper initial assessment and adequate treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Epilepsy / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Hallucinogens / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Paranoid Disorders / chemically induced
  • Paranoid Disorders / psychology
  • Syndrome


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