Pharmacokinetics of MDMA

  • Enno FreyeEmail author


Effects of MDMA usually begin 30–45 min after oral administration of a 75–150 mg dose with peak effects occurring 60–90 min after ingestion, which start to diminish after 2 h, however lasting up to 8 h (Table 3). The time to maximum concentration (Tmax) is 2 h after oral ingestion of MDMA 50, 75, or 125 mg. The half-life shows little variation after a wide range of doses. After a 50-, 75-, or 125-mg dose, the half-life is 8 h [49]. Other studies found the half-life to be 9.53 h after a 75-mg dose and 9.12 h after a 125-mg dose [50]. The maximum concentration (Cmax) after oral ingestion appears to be dose dependent. A Cmax of 105.6 ng/ml was reported in a single subject who took a 50-mg dose [51], whereas a Cmax of 330 ng/ml was found in another subject who took MDMA 135 mg [52]. In a group of eight subjects, the Cmax values after ingestion of MDMA 75 mg and 125 mg were 126.5 and 226.3 ng/ml, respectively [50], whereas in another group of eight subjects, Cmax values of 130.9 and 236.4 ng/ml were obtained after ingestion of MDMA 75 mg and 125 mg, respectively [49]. These studies indicate, that the Cmax exhibits a slightly greater-than-expected increase compared with the increase in dose. According to these observations, and following a usual recreational dose of 100–150 mg, the Cmax should be in the range of 200–300 ng/ml. The area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) data from these studies also suggests nonlinearity. The AUC measured over 24 h after ingestion of a 125-mg dose (2,235.9 µg/l/h) is more than twice the AUC after ingestion of a 75-mg dose (995.4 µg/l/h [50]. Nonlinearity is further supported by other evidence, in which the dose ratio of MDMA was 1:3 (50 mg and 150 mg), whereas the AUC ratio over 24 h after ingestion was greater than 1:10. The authors suggested that the non-renal clearance of MDMA is dose dependent.


Disseminate Intravascular Coagulation Disseminate Intravascular Coagulation Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Malignant Hyperthermia MDMA User 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heinrich-Heine-UniversityDüsseldorfGermany

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