Ecstasy, also known as molly or MDMA, is a recreational “club drug.” Taking very high doses of ecstasy can be lethal, although fatal consequences from MDMA are uncommon.
One single ecstasy pill usually contains about 80 to 125 milligrams (mg) of ecstasy. According to research, a lethal dose of ecstasy for humans is about 15 to 16 times the standard recreational dose.
Learn more about the lethal dose of commonly abused drugs.
Determining A Lethal Dose Of Ecstasy
The lethal dose of ecstasy is about 2 grams, or 2,000 mg. The lethal dose of MDMA can range between 10 to 16 times the average single dose.
A single dose of ecstasy typically comes in pill or tablet form. Research shows that MDMA overdose deaths are associated with blood levels up to 40 times higher than the usual recreational range.
Is Ecstasy Overdose Always Deadly?
Overdosing on ecstasy doesn’t always lead to fatal outcomes. In fact, a fatal MDMA overdose is uncommon.
Death from MDMA overdose can occur if someone has taken too much ecstasy, has mixed it with other drugs, or has become severely dehydrated under the influence of ecstasy.
What Factors Can Affect The Lethal Dose Of MDMA?
The lethal dose of a drug like MDMA can vary according to a wide range of personal and biological factors.
Factors that can affect the lethal dose of MDMA include:
- use of other drugs (including alcohol)
- liver and kidney function
- drug metabolism
- drug tolerance
- pre-existing health conditions
Taking a dose that’s lethal for one person may not be lethal for the next. If someone is experiencing serious symptoms after taking ecstasy, seeking medical attention is recommended.
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Recognizing The Signs Of MDMA Overdose
Serious cases of MDMA overdose are uncommon. If someone is showing severe overdose symptoms after taking ecstasy, seek medical attention.
Signs of MDMA overdose can include:
- high blood pressure
- panic attacks
- loss of consciousness
Rare, acute dangers of MDMA that can occur in addition to overdose include kidney failure—from very high body temperature—and heart failure.
Ecstasy overdose can be a sign of drug abuse in some people. While fatal outcomes are uncommon with MDMA overdose, drug abuse is a serious issue that may require treatment.
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Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
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- American Scientist—The Toxicology of Recreational Drugs
- Drug Policy Alliance—Can you overdose on MDMA?
- Journal of Psychoactive Drugs—Acute Toxic Effects of Club Drugs
- U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)—MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse: Research Report