MDMA is scientifically known as Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine and is most commonly known as ecstasy. It is a potent stimulant that has a similar chemical structure to amphetamine. It can be used as a stimulant and psychedelic with an energising effect, also often altering reality and is a highly dangerous drug that is responsible for numerous deaths each year.

Are you wondering how long ecstasy pills stay in your system? This is not a straightforward question to answer, as this can depend on your weight, gender, height and metabolism. Find out how long MDMA stays in your system here.

What is MDMA and What Are its Effects?

MDMA has stimulating and hallucinogenic effects, which means feelings can be perceived more intensely. The dose, the true composition of the tablets, and the environment in which it is consumed can create a different outcome for each user. Negative emotions such as sadness and fear can be amplified and disorientation or hallucinations may occur.

Some of the most common effects of MDMA are:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramping
  • Involuntary teeth clenching
  • Blurred or altered vision
  • Chills/sweating
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Death by overdose

MDMA is often taken recreationally and is frequently taken to feel high. It is known to temporarily heighten mood, increase energy and adrenaline, as well as distort sensory and time perception. This feeling creates a spaced-out euphoric feel, but the benefits are short-lived and very dangerous. MDMA may be abused because of peer pressure, outside influences or under the premise of feeling ‘better’. MDMA has various risks and dangers, both short-term and long-term.

Ecstasy abuse is strongly linked to liver, kidney and heart problems, and any pre-existing problems or undiagnosed issues could be exacerbated by the use of MDMA and could cause a medical emergency. The elevation of the heart rate and blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, heart arrhythmias and death.

How Long Does MDMA Last in Your System?

How long does MDMA stay in your system? Well, the half-life of MDMA is around 8 to 9 hours in adults. It is also known that it can be detected in your system anywhere from 1 to 90 days after you’ve taken it. This means that if you are questioned by police or your family or colleagues have suspicions about usage, it may still be traceable in your system. Blood, saliva, urine and hair will contain traces of MDMA.

So how long does MDMA stay in each part of your system?

  • Blood: 1 to 2 days
  • Salvia: 1 to 2 days
  • Urine: Up to 3 days
  • Hair follicles: Up to 3 months

There are many other factors that are associated with the traceability of MDMA. These include the dosage level, the frequency of use and individual variations.

Absorption and Metabolism of MDMA

Amphetamines are absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract and excreted in the urine. Amphetamine (N,α -methylphenethylamine) is classified in the family of phenethylamines. These also include substances such as stimulants, entactogens or hallucinogens. It primarily affects the kidneys and the liver, and may even lead to convulsions and heart failure if abused.

The effects and onset of MDMA begin after around 30-45 minutes after ingestion however, usually around 35 minutes, the effects begin to peak. If another tablet is ingested, then it may affect the length of time that the drug lingers. The comedown process can last anywhere from hours to even days, almost like a hangover effect. There may be some unpleasant come-down effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Exhaustion
  • Aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

Factors That Affect the High Period of Ecstasy

Ecstasy can be more dangerous for certain people who consume it. Those with high blood pressure, heart or liver problems, diabetes, epilepsy or any mental illness may be more at risk. This can affect the length of time that MDMA stays in the system or the effect it has on the body. Age may also play a part as well as metabolism. If you suffer from poor kidney function, MDMA can be particularly dangerous. Poor overall health and mental health conditions may exacerbate symptoms and may lead to ‘bad trips’.

Consuming other substances could also interfere with the reactions. Mixing alcohol with MDMA can create major dehydration in the body, leading to kidney shutdown and death. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) can poorly interact with MDMA. MDMA may also remove the potency of other drugs or prescription medications, which could limit their effects. MDMA is a very dangerous drug and any form of drug addiction must be dealt with promptly.

Health Risks and Long-Term Effects of MDMA Use

How long does ecstasy stay in your system? Whilst the effects are often short-lived, MDMA can actually linger in the body, creating damage along the way. These long-term effects can be debilitating.

Some short-term effects include:

  • Impaired judgement – this may affect your work and home life
  • Confusion and irritation, leading to poor function day to day
  • Depression and anxiety, including poor sleep which can lead to fatigue
  • Paranoia and drug cravings, meaning you are more likely to use more frequently
  • Muscle tension and spasms
  • Faintness, chills, sweat and flu-like symptoms can be debilitating
  • Vision problems which may affect work, driving or daily life

Long-term effects include:

  • Brain damage which can include severe damage to the nervous system
  • Kidney failure
  • Haemorrhaging
  • Cardiovascular collapse, including collapsed lungs, arteries and vascular issues
  • Convulsions including types of epilepsy
  • Death via overdose

Whilst no use of an illegal substance is wise or sensible, if you are using MDMA you should be aware of the importance of responsible use, up until you gain the help you need to quit. You must appreciate moderate dosages, and implement strategies to ensure that you do not accidentally overdose or mix drugs.

Seeking professional help and advice is important if you or someone you love is suffering from MDMA addiction. Whilst there are support groups available online and in person, you can also speak openly to your GP, who can guide you further. However, you must ensure that you get the help that you need in order to make a good recovery. Long-term sobriety is possible if you commit to a private ecstasy rehab programme. There is no need to suffer in silence any longer – call us on 0800 880 7596 to learn more or fill out our contact form.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: August 4, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.