Last updated : March 23, 2017
Ecstasy is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and body.
Ecstasy contains the drug MDMA. However, many pills sold as ecstasy only have a small amount of MDMA or none at all. Other drugs and ‘fillers’ like household cleaning products are often used instead. This makes it hard to know what reactions to expect after taking ecstasy or how bad the side effects will be.
Eckies, E, XTC, pills, pingers, bikkies, flippers, molly1
Ecstasy comes in a tablet form and is usually swallowed. The pills come in different colours and sizes and are often imprinted with a picture or symbol.1 It can also come as capsules, powder or crystal.
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.
Ecstasy affects everyone differently, based on:
The effects of ecstasy are usually felt about 20 minutes to an hour after it’s taken and last for around 6 hours.1
You may experience:
If you take a large amount or have a strong batch of ecstasy, you may also experience:
In the days after ecstasy use, you may experience:
Regular use of a lot of ecstasy may eventually cause:
The effects of taking ecstasy with other drugs − including over-the-counter or prescribed medications − can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
Ecstasy + alcohol: increased risk of dehydration and consequently drinking too much water.4
Ecstasy + antidepressants: Drowsiness, clumsiness, restlessness and feeling drunk and dizzy.6
Giving up ecstasy after using it for a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it. Withdrawal symptoms should settle down after a week and will mostly disappear after a month. Symptoms include:
feeling connected, confidence, dehydration, dilated pupils, drinking extreme amounts of water, fast heart rate, feeling energetic, feeling happy, heat stroke, heightened senses, jaw clenching, nausea, pleasure rush, reduced appetite, teeth grinding.