The changes that take place in the brain with MDMA use affect the user in several ways. These include:
- increases in heart rate and blood pressure
- muscle tension
- teeth clenching
- lowered inhibition (doing things and making decisions that your normally wouldn’t)
- nausea (feeling sick) and possible vomiting
- blurred vision
- dizziness and faintness
- chills or sweating
- higher body temperature (can lead to serious heart, liver, or kidney problems)
- increased risk for unsafe sex
Because MDMA does not always break down in the body, it can interfere with its own metabolism. This can cause harmful levels of the drug to build up in the body if it is taken repeatedly within short periods of time. High levels of the drug in the bloodstream can increase the risk for seizures and affect the heart's ability to beat normally.
Mixing MDMA with alcohol can decrease some of alcohol’s effects.
Researchers are not sure if MDMA causes long-term brain changes or if such effects are reversible when someone stops using the drug. However, studies have shown that some heavy MDMA users experience problems that are long lasting, including confusion, depression, and problems with memory and attention.