[Entactogenic drugs "ecstasy" (MDMA), "eve" (MDE) and other ring-substituted methamphetamine derivatives. A new class of substances among illegal designer drugs?]

Nervenarzt. 1996 May;67(5):369-80.
[Article in German]


The widely used recreational drugs 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) and 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDE, Eve) occupy an intermediate position between stimulants and hallucinogens. Besides stimulation similar to that caused by amphetamines, they usually induce a pleasant, easily controllable emotional state with relaxation, fearlessness and feelings of happiness, but they sometimes also have stronger, hallucinogenic, effects. A number of pharmacological studies support the hypothesis that these drugs make up a distinct class of psychoactive substances, which have been designated "entactogens." On the drug scene, MDMA and MDE are considered "safe." However, this view must be corrected. Complications are rare, but potentially devastating ([long-lasting anxiety and depressive syndromes in chronic users, fatalities with hyperpyrexia, rhabdomyolysis and DIC syndrome (disseminated instravascular coagulation), possible hepatotoxicity]. Moreover, the clinical relevance of animal studies showing neurotoxic effects of MDMA on central serotonergic pathways is still not clear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine / adverse effects
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Animals
  • Designer Drugs* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine* / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*


  • Designer Drugs
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine
  • 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine