long term dangers of MDMA 
Author Message
 long term dangers of MDMA

Hi, could any knowledgeble person tell me about the possible dangers of occasio
nal MDMA use? I have read lots of articles on the subject, but no study offered
 convincing evidence as to the negative effects on humans.... All answers are g
reatly appreciated.. Thanks..

Nadim, in the nation's capital of boredom...

Tue, 25 May 1993 15:11:42 GMT
 long term dangers of MDMA


>Hi, could any knowledgeble person tell me about the possible dangers
>of occasional MDMA use? I have read lots of articles on the subject,
>but no study offered convincing evidence as to the negative effects
>on humans.... All answers are greatly appreciated.. Thanks..

Well, that's because there ISN'T evidence of any observable deleterious
behavi{*filter*}or neuropsychological effects in humans, but what is observed
in animal models (histological and neurochemical) probably should be
interpreted conservatively.  Matt F. mentions that there are some upcoming
studies of HIAA levels in spinal fluid in MDMA users, a test which may be
a marker for evidence of neurotoxicity.  On the other hand, Ricaurte's other
human studies have not been without criticism.  We'll have to see.

I have no reason to beat the drum for MDMA, but the thing that makes me
somewhat suspicious and uneasy about the facileness of these studies
purporting to point to MDMA's neurotoxicity (and thus support the conclusion
that the drug should be banned), is that {*filter*} which are far more neurotoxic
in the same models are used quite routinely without harm.  Fenfluramine, a
serotonergic appetite suppressant is three times more potent than MDMA in
producing the same experimental lesions in animals.  It has been marketed
and sold for more than 25 years, and millions of doses have been administered
to people, usually chronically, without any particular side effects which
would point to a lasting neurological lesion.  In fact, one of its two isomers,
d-fenfluramine, is in the middle of clinical trials for FDA approval as an
appetite suppressant which lacks some of the side-effects of the racemic drug.
Methamphetamine also appears to be neurotoxic in the same models, but even
though it is a very abusable drug, no one would say that it produces obvious
neurological deficits when used in the treatment of narcolepsy or attention-
deficit disorder.

The lack of evidence of side effects in people who have used MDMA,
even in those who have used it more than a few times, taken together
with the evidence of the safe use of other {*filter*} which would otherwise
be thought to be dangerous according to this model, suggests that
the neurotoxicity of MDMA in humans might very well have been exaggerated.
Now, you have to balance that rather cool assessment with the question
"Well, just what IS going on?" (especially if the studies in humans become
better refined.)  Maybe there is a lot of redundancy in the areas where
MDMA (and other {*filter*}) ostensibly exert their serotonergic neurotoxicity,
such that any deficit remains subclinical.  What might it take to unmask
that damage in the future?  Who knows?

It depends on how conservative you want to be.

Steve Dyer

Sat, 29 May 1993 14:23:38 GMT
 [ 2 post ] 

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