Ecstasy - Effects

Attention: open in a new window. Print

Drugs and Alcohol

User Rating: / 6
Article Index
Warning Signs
Seeking help
All Pages

Immediate Effects:

Many people have experienced the following effects soon after taking Ecstasy:
Increased heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure
Increased confidence
Jaw clenching, teeth grinding
Feelings of well -being
Feelings of closeness to others(hence the term 'love drug')
Loss of appetite
Distorted perception ('visuals').
These effects usually begin within 20 minutes of taking the drug and may last up to six hours.


The effects usually go through three phases:

Coming on/coming up:
Immediately after taking the drug. This is when the Ecstasy 'kicks in'. It can feel strange - a sort of mix between smooth, bumpy and jittery.

The plateau:
About an hour after taking the drug, lasting anywhere from two to five hours. The feelings are usually good, happy and relaxed.

Coming down:
The final stages. People may feel physically exhausted, tense, depressed, cold, anxious, paranoid and irritable. The come down usually passes after sleep (which might take a while to come), but may return in a couple of days.

In Greater Quantities:

Higher quantities of Ecstasy don't appear to enhance the desirable effects, but they can bring about some nasty side effects including:
Convulsions (fits)
Floating sensations
Irrational or bizarre behaviour
Frightening hallucinations.              
Serious Health Problems

No drug is ever 100% safe for all people in all situations, and some people who have taken Ecstasy have died. It is thought that Ecstasy can directly cause death in three ways:


The stimulant effect: resulting in heart attack or brain haemorrhage.


Overheating: the combination of taking Ecstasy and dancing in hot, humid venues such as dance parties increases the risk of death by overheating (hyperthermia).


Drinking too much: it is important not to drink too much water, all at once. Several deaths have occurred from cerebral oedema - where the person's brain swells from the excess fluid intake and goes into a coma.