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Variability in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine content of 'ecstasy' tablets in the UK.
Emerg Med J. 2011 Sep; 28(9):764-5.EM

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Toxicity, such as hyperpyrexia, associated with the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') appears to be related to serum MDMA concentrations. However, there does not appear to be a similar association with the number of tablets ingested, suggesting variation in the tablet content of MDMA. Although work has shown this variation in other areas of the world, no studies have reported on the variation of MDMA content in UK ecstasy tablets.

METHODS

Ecstasy tablets seized from individuals attending nightclubs were analysed qualitatively to determine if they contained MDMA and quantitatively to determine the MDMA content per tablet.

RESULTS

The mean amount of MDMA hydrochloride in 101 seized ecstasy tablets was 58.7±22.9 mg per tablet, with a range of 20 mg to 131 mg per tablet. The majority (96.0%) of tablets contained less than 100 mg MDMA per tablet. There appeared to be a bimodal distribution of MDMA content at approximately 20-40 mg per tablet and 60-80 mg per tablet.

CONCLUSION

There is variability in the MDMA content of ecstasy tablets in the UK. This variability could potentially put users at increased risk of acute harm due to inadvertent excess ingestion of MDMA, as they are unaware of the differences in the MDMA content. Repeat sampling and quantification of MDMA content of ecstasy tablets in the UK will allow better education of users about the potential harms associated with the variability in the MDMA content. In addition, it will provide information to allow the monitoring of changes in not only the MDMA content, but also other adulterants, in ecstasy tablets.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Clinical Toxicology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and King's Health Partners, London, UK. david.wood@gstt.nhs.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20724467

Citation

Wood, David Michael, et al. "Variability in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine Content of 'ecstasy' Tablets in the UK." Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ, vol. 28, no. 9, 2011, pp. 764-5.
Wood DM, Stribley V, Dargan PI, et al. Variability in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine content of 'ecstasy' tablets in the UK. Emerg Med J. 2011;28(9):764-5.
Wood, D. M., Stribley, V., Dargan, P. I., Davies, S., Holt, D. W., & Ramsey, J. (2011). Variability in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine content of 'ecstasy' tablets in the UK. Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ, 28(9), 764-5. https://doi.org/10.1136/emj.2010.092270
Wood DM, et al. Variability in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine Content of 'ecstasy' Tablets in the UK. Emerg Med J. 2011;28(9):764-5. PubMed PMID: 20724467.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Variability in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine content of 'ecstasy' tablets in the UK. AU - Wood,David Michael, AU - Stribley,Vasoulla, AU - Dargan,Paul Ivor, AU - Davies,Susannah, AU - Holt,David W, AU - Ramsey,John, Y1 - 2010/08/19/ PY - 2010/8/21/entrez PY - 2010/8/21/pubmed PY - 2011/11/9/medline SP - 764 EP - 5 JF - Emergency medicine journal : EMJ JO - Emerg Med J VL - 28 IS - 9 N2 - BACKGROUND: Toxicity, such as hyperpyrexia, associated with the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') appears to be related to serum MDMA concentrations. However, there does not appear to be a similar association with the number of tablets ingested, suggesting variation in the tablet content of MDMA. Although work has shown this variation in other areas of the world, no studies have reported on the variation of MDMA content in UK ecstasy tablets. METHODS: Ecstasy tablets seized from individuals attending nightclubs were analysed qualitatively to determine if they contained MDMA and quantitatively to determine the MDMA content per tablet. RESULTS: The mean amount of MDMA hydrochloride in 101 seized ecstasy tablets was 58.7±22.9 mg per tablet, with a range of 20 mg to 131 mg per tablet. The majority (96.0%) of tablets contained less than 100 mg MDMA per tablet. There appeared to be a bimodal distribution of MDMA content at approximately 20-40 mg per tablet and 60-80 mg per tablet. CONCLUSION: There is variability in the MDMA content of ecstasy tablets in the UK. This variability could potentially put users at increased risk of acute harm due to inadvertent excess ingestion of MDMA, as they are unaware of the differences in the MDMA content. Repeat sampling and quantification of MDMA content of ecstasy tablets in the UK will allow better education of users about the potential harms associated with the variability in the MDMA content. In addition, it will provide information to allow the monitoring of changes in not only the MDMA content, but also other adulterants, in ecstasy tablets. SN - 1472-0213 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20724467/Variability_in_the_34_methylenedioxymethamphetamine_content_of_'ecstasy'_tablets_in_the_UK_ L2 - http://emj.bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=20724467 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -