MDMA is a synthetic substance commonly known as ecstasy, although the latter term has now been generalised to cover a wide range of other substances. Originally developed in 1912 by the Merck chemical company, it was never marketed as such. Although proposed as an aid to psychiatric counselling, therapeutic use is extremely limited. Illicit MDMA is normally seen as tablets, many of which are manufactured in Europe. It acts as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and has a weak hallucinogenic property more accurately described as increased sensory awareness. MDMA is under international control.
MDMA in tablet form is almost always used orally (ingested), but the powdered form could also be snorted, inhaled or injected, although the latter route is rarely observed in the context of recreational ecstasy use.
Molecular formula: C11H15NO2
Molecular weight: 193.2
MDMA is an abbreviation for methylenedioxy–methylamphetamine. The formal (IUPAC) name is N-methyl-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)propan-2-amine, but MDMA (CAS-42542-10-09) is commonly known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or methylenedioxy-methylamfetamine. Other chemical names include N,α-dimethyl-3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamine or, less usually, N-methyl-1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-propanamine. MDMA is a member of the larger group of ring-substituted phenethylamines. As with other phenethylamines, and like its close relative methamphetamine, MDMA also exists in two enantiomeric forms (R and S).