Rhabdomyolysis in MDMA intoxication: a rapid and underestimated killer. "Clean" Ecstasy, a safe party drug?

Vanden Eede H, Montenij LJ, Touw DJ, Norris EM.

J Emerg Med. 2012 Jun;42(6):655-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2009.04.057. Epub 2009 Jun 4.

BACKGROUND: Ecstasy is a popular drug among young adults. It is often thought to be safe. The dose of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in a tablet of Ecstasy varies greatly, and there is also a difference in individual response to a dose of MDMA. OBJECTIVES: To increase the awareness of potential mortality in MDMA use. CASE REPORT: We report the case of a patient with a lethal intoxication after pure MDMA intoxication. The serum toxicology screening showed an elevated level of MDMA (1.5 mg/L) but no other amphetamines or other drugs. CONCLUSIONS: The cause of death was a rapidly evolving hyperkalemia due to rhabdomyolysis. There is still a need to educate the public about the dangers of this so-called "safe" party drug.

PMID: 19500935

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.