alexa The pre-clinical behavioural pharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).


Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Author(s): Cole JC, Sumnall HR

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Abstract 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a relatively novel drug of abuse and as such little is currently known of its behavioural pharmacology. This review aims to examine whether MDMA represents a novel class of abused drug. MDMA is known as a selective serotonergic neurotoxin in a variety of animal species but acutely it is a potent releaser and/or reuptake inhibitor of presynaptic serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, and acetylcholine. Interaction of these effects contributes to its behavioural pharmacology, in particular its effects on body temperature. Drug discrimination studies indicate that MDMA and related drugs produce unique interoceptive effects which have led to their classification as entactogens. This is supported by results from other behavioural paradigms although there is evidence for dose dependency of MDMA-specific effects. MDMA also produces conditioned place preference but is not a potent reinforcer in self-administration studies. These unique behavioural effects probably underlie its current popularity. MDMA is found in the street drug ecstasy but it may not be appropriate to equate the two as other drugs are routinely found in ecstasy tablets
This article was published in Neurosci Biobehav Rev and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

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