2020 Articles

Volume 2 Issue 2


The Psychiatric Utility of MDMA

Mark Sundahl, M.D. Lisa Shenkman, M.D.

Volume 2 Issue 2


Objective: This paper aims to compile the history, available data, pharmacology, and notable studies of 3,4- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly referred to as ecstasy, order to assess any potential medical utility.

Methods: Literature Review


Discussion: MDMA, when combined with appropriate psychotherapy, appears to have a statistically significant and rather large effect on the reduction of PTSD symptoms. It has also been investigated for use in alcohol use disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Phase III clinical trials are underway, and MDMA assisted psychotherapy could be an FDA approved treatment for PTSD as early as 2021. Caution must be used to ensure there are no significant risks including addiction or long-term side effects from use, but early clinical trials suggest a reasonable safety profile.