Despite their chemical similarities, methamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) elicit different behavioral and neurochemical responses in animals. In humans, individual studies of methamphetamine and MDMA indicate that the drugs have overlapping and different effects; there are limited data comparing the two drugs in the same individuals.
The amphetamine analogs, methamphetamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), are used in a variety of social situations, probably because they increase sociability, euphoria, and alertness. Both amphetamines also have other typical stimulant effects, such as sleep disturbance. Although many effects overlap, methamphetamine and MDMA are generally considered to be distinct. For example, a surprisingly large human literature suggests that methamphetamine has particularly harmful long-term effects, including cognitive decline, dental caries (i.e., “methamphetamine mouth”), and mental disorders (there is no comparable literature for MDMA. Cognitive deficits are characterized by mixed results. Some researchers have found a persistent cognitive decline in MDMA users, while others have found little difference between MDMA users and controls. In addition, some reports indicate that MDMA use has unique and different effects from other amphetamines, such as colloquially referring to a transient depressed state in the days following use as “Suicide Tuesday.” It is possible that the way these drugs are most commonly used may explain some of the differences. For example, methamphetamine has been used. a by routes other than oral (e.g., smoked and intravenously), which increases the likelihood of abuse and other adverse effects.
Another possible explanation is that structural chemical variations between methamphetamine and its substituted ring analog, MDMA, contribute to the putative divergent profiles. Indeed, there is empirical evidence that these structural differences produce different neurochemical responses. For example, although both amphetamines release monoamines in the brain, the degree of release of these neurotransmitters varies between drugs. That is, methamphetamine is a stronger releaser of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE), whereas MDMA is a stronger releaser of serotonin (5-HT) responses For example, in a study comparing the relative reinforcing effects of amphetamines in rhesus monkeys, methamphetamine was found to be a stronger reinforcer than MDMA, and this difference was attributed to a release strength of relatively higher levels of dopamine and serotonin than methamphetamine In a recent study, they reported that methamphetamine and MDMA had different effects on measures of locomotor activity and temperature regulation in rhesus monkeys. These researchers suggested that the observed behavioral differences were due to amphetamines altering the activity of monoamines in different ways.
In humans, individual studies of methamphetamine and MDMA indicate that the drugs have both coincident and different effects. For example, oral methamphetamine and MDMA increase arousal and euphoria and decrease food intake. While methamphetamine improves some measures of cognitive performance, MDMA does not and in some cases impairs cognitive performance. Only a limited number of studies have compared the direct effects of amphetamines with MDMA in the same research participants. Overall, the drugs had a consistent behavioral, physiological, and subjective effects profile, although some differences were noted.
In an effort to increase the paucity of studies on this question, the present study directly compared the acute and lasting effects of methamphetamine (20 and 40 mg) and MDMA (100 mg) using an in-subjects design. We previously published a subset of the data from this study that focused on speech. The purpose of this larger study was to evaluate the effects of both amphetamines on a broader range of behaviors, including cognitive/psychomotor performance, mood, food intake, physiological measures, and sleep. Our hypothesis is that: (1) acute methamphetamine and MDMA would similarly increase “positive” mood scores; (2) methamphetamine would have improved cognitive/psychomotor performance measures; and (3) MDMA would have decreased cognitive/psychomotor performance measures. We also predicted that both drugs would slow sleep and that MDMA would alter mood in the days after drug administration.
Methamphetamine is a bitter, odorless, white crystalline powder. It dissolves easily in water or alcohol and is taken orally, smoked, snorted, or injected. It is a highly addictive stimulant that directly affects the central nervous system.
Even in small doses, methamphetamine causes increased arousal and physical activity, decreased appetite, increased breathing, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.
Long-term abuse leads to extreme weight loss, acute dental problems, anxiety, confusion, mood disorders, insomnia, and violent behavior. Chronic users exhibit various psychotic features such as paranoia, hallucinations, both visual and auditory, and delusions.
Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA or methylenedioxymethamphetamine. MDMA has a lot in common with methamphetamine. They are both stimulating and chemically similar. Ecstasy produces feelings of euphoria and emotional warmth. It distorts the perception of time and promotes tangible experiences. It also has an energizing effect.
Unlike methamphetamine, MDMA comes in capsule or pill form and is taken orally. It can cause insomnia, depression, severe anxiety, and confusion. Although these symptoms may occur immediately, they can sometimes appear days or weeks after taking the drug. Like methamphetamine, ecstasy is addictive and has cravings.
Ecstasy has gained popularity among teenagers at weekend raves and in the club scene to keep them awake and create a sense of euphoria. Today, its use is widespread among gay men in the city.
MDMA increases your heart rate and blood pressure and you have other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary clenching of teeth, nausea, blurred vision, fainting, chills, or sweating. MDMA can also be dangerous to your overall health and rarely fatal.