Effects of MDMA on body temperature in humans

Liechti, Matthias E.. (2014) Effects of MDMA on body temperature in humans. Temperature, 1 (3). pp. 179-187.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/42268/

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Hyperthermia is a severe complication associated with the recreational use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine(MDMA, Ecstasy). In this review, the clinical laboratory studies that tested the effects of MDMA on body temperature are summarized. The mechanisms that underlie the hyperthermic effects of MDMA in humans and treatment of severe hyperthermia are presented. The data show that MDMA produces an acute and dose-dependent rise in core body temperature in healthy subjects. The increase in body temperature is in the range of 0.2-0.8C and does not result in hyperpyrexia (>40C) in a controlled laboratory setting. However, moderately hyperthermic body temperatures >38.0C occur frequently at higher doses, even in the absence of physical activity and at room temperature. MDMA primarily releases serotonin and norepinephrine. Mechanistic clinical studies indicate that the MDMA-induced elevations in body temperature in humans partially depend on the MDMA-induced release of norepinephrine and involve enhanced metabolic heat generation and cutaneous vasoconstriction, resulting in impaired heat dissipation. The mediating role of serotonin is unclear. The management of sympathomimetic toxicity and associated hyperthermia mainly includes sedation with benzodiazepines and intravenous fluid replacement. Severe hyperthermia should primarily be treated with additional cooling and mechanical ventilation.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel > Psychopharmacology Research (Liechti)
UniBasel Contributors:Liechti, Matthias Emanuel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:30 Aug 2016 10:00
Deposited On:30 Aug 2016 09:56

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