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MDMA Hangovers, After Effects, & Loss of Magic User Comments
by Earth

The following are a collection of comments from MDMA users about the hangover / week after effects: Many of these were collected as part of our MDMA Longterm Use questionnaire.

Zam:
My experience has been, having only tried it 10 times, that MDMA is very hard on my body. The hangover from taking MDMA has been much heavier than any other psychoactive I've tried, except very high dose alcohol where the next day hangover feels VERY acutely bad. Starting at 4-5 hours after I took MDMA and all the next day, I felt very tired and run down. The next day is very very low energy and I felt kinda drained mentally and physically for 1-3 days after use. There was also a mild depression starting 2 days after taking MDMA that lasts for a few days. I found I tended to be more easily frustrated and irritable, my ability to focus my eyes was disrupted slightly for a day or two, and I felt less motivated. I have had semi-regular (usually mild) depressions since I was in my early teens, so I'm familiar with some of the signs and the week after MDMA definitely has some of the warning signs. I had a profound and wonderful experience my first time with MDMA and had several very good experiences afterwards, but the hangover and week after is bad enough that I am hesitant to want to do it very much. My partner, who has taken MDMA the same number of times, in the same settings, with body-weight equivalent doses has never experienced the week-after effects, has much lighter hangovers, and has enjoyed her MDMA more than I.

AFo:
I also felt wiped out the day after both times I tried it, and I remember conceptualizing it at the same time very much the way Zam expressed it, that this substance is the only one (of L, 'shrooms and peyote) to really be 'bad' for my body. I _knew_ that in the marrow of my bones, so to speak.

Unfortunately, since it was black market stuff (about fifteen years ago) even though I had it tested, and it was positive for MDMA, there was no test either of purity or dose. Therefore I cannot conclude that MDMA is like that, only that the batch I had had that effect, and it was strong enough to dissuade me from further attempts.

Qad:
Starting after I had taken E about 10 times, and then took E 3-4 times over 6 to 8 weeks, I started noticing memory and other problems. This was limited to short-term memory. Then, more than a year later, I took E again and then started experiencing memory loss, but not localized to only short term memory.

The memory loss is not just short term, but also medium term as well (such as over the past year or so). Long term also may be affected. Could be just a "bad batch" (or more likely a poorly mfg batch), which confirms my thinking that street E is much riskier than any other entheogen out there because something "close" in effects can be another material. Hard to do with A, bees, K, mj, dmt, etc. I told him, but he didn't listen to me that time...

I also noticed (mostly subtle) visual movement in the weeks after taking E, including looking at a herring-bone business suit and finding it extremely distracting due to the constant 'crawling' motion of the pattern.

Horus:
Much as I dearly love those few wonderful hours that E affords, the negative downside afterwards has resulted in my finally giving up this substance. Some of the drawbacks include slightly blurred vision for a few days afterwards and an unpleasant day-long depression, usually on about the third day after the trip. However, the biggest negative is a decided diminishment in my ability to deal with stressful situations during the week or so following an E trip. Everyday work and interrelationship problems that I normally have no problem handling, suddenly become mountains instead of molehills, causing me to feel weighed-under, stressed out and vulnerable. Also, it seems to negatively affect my judgement on important issues. Looking back, I realise I have made some very bad decisions in the week or so following taking E - such as impulsively buying something very expensive and then sorely regretting having done so immediately afterwards. Finally, although my girlfriend and I have had wonderfully empathogenic experiences on E, we always seem to end up having major, blazing arguments with each other a few days later.....

Ric:
Well, with all of the negatives people have felt I thought I should post the "After E" experiences I've had. I've noticed a slight "fuzziness" the following two days or so. Meaning that I had some minor difficulty concentrating or staying focused on a task such as work. But my mood was actually up for at least 2-4 days before going back to baseline. My friends have also had the same kind of After E experience. This has been with at least three different batches. I've had only one bad experience with E and that was the very first time, there were special circumstances surrounding this experience so exclude it from the others.

Jay:
I have noticed that if I just take E and don't work at replenishing and taking care of myself as I come down, the next day can be a little rough feeling. Low energy and bluesy. The day after the day after, and sometimes several days after, I usually feel renewed and up.

My replenishing starts at around the seventh hour and consists of, 16 oz of milk or 2 to 2.5 grams of tryptophan, light food (breads and fruits), 1 gm of DLPA (dl-phenylanaline), 1 gm Tyrosine, a good wide spectrum antioxident and 9 to 21 mg of melatonin to aid in sleep. If I'm away from my supply of vits. then at a minimum I drink milk and have a light meal. Also, during the trip, I try to insure that I eat light snaks of fruit and breads since 6 hours of heavy activity without a meal is just plain silly.

Just as an aside, acid leaves my far more burned out the next day, but also responds to similar treatement.

WP:
In the recent past (1993-94) some friends and I tried it successfully with another SSRI, Zoloft (the blue 50 mg, I believe it is, size). Of the two dozen people in our informal and subjective study, 20 found that taking one to four tablets (four represents one the day before E, one the day of, one each day after E-ing) evened out any physical (i.e., jaw clenching during E, lassitude the days following) and psychological (dysphoria to mild depression the days following) "side effects" of the somewhat schwaggy but effective E going around S.F. at that time. To varying degrees some felt the intensity of their E experience lessened. The four others felt nothing different except for a less intense E experience. We thought Zoloft better than Prozac because of its 26 hour versus Prozac's three day time recycling schedule.

Bomber:
MDMA tends to make me feel extremely lethargic and without any appetite. I have found myself sitting in one place in a daze for extended periods day-dreaming and feeling extremely unmotivated to do anything. I wouldn't say that I felt extremely _depressed_ though, just very, very lazy. The physical symptoms usually doesn't persist longer than a day, however, and often I feel spiritually and emotionally renewed throughout the following week. On one occasion I tried taking 20 mg. prozac about 6-8 hours after the MDMA, and it later seemed that I felt a little bit better and was able to eat more than usual. I've also thought about purchasing some "5-HTP SeroTonic" from Life Enhancement Products since 5-HTP is so close to serotonin.

!Frog:
I feel very strongly that E caused me to form unnatural attachments to people, attachments that I feel weren't real, and to feel extremely hurt as these newfound relationships disintegrated. I read way too much into what was being said by me; I formed crushes that were exhausting to those I had them for.

Even when done only with people truly close, I still experienced plummeting depressions immediately after use for a few weeks; either numbness or anxious suicidal ideation. I feel like my tendency for episodic anxiety became more constant. I know, during this time, and the following year, I lost my ability to connect, to remember who mattered to me, and where my friends were. Read the Full Account

DDar:
I recall, back in mythic times, my first several MDMA trips were very empathic, joyous, insightful and mild, with a paradoxical tendency on my part to sit down and shut up (I could tell it was paradoxical because others around me were holding forth mightily!) There were no big side effects (other than cotton mouth and cotton everything else) and remarkably no hangover at all. We remarked upon this many times, and felt very clear and pleased with ourselves.

Later on, with MDMA from different sources, I started having that kicked feeling the next day, but what made me quit it altogether is that the jaw thing became intolerable. It became a major struggle to keep my teeth apart and resulted in my mouth and tongue being chewed to hamburger in an attempt to save my dental work. I tried the several nutritional supplements recommended for alleviating jaw grinding, but to no avail. Three days of living on oatmeal and milk is no fun, and that kind of self-destructive behavior is just stupid, so I quit.

The only long term effects seem to be a nostalgic longing for whatever those first several batches were (white powder), and a tendency to go to raves.

AP:
Ok, I guess I'll fess up here too. (I can't perpetuate the silent conspiracy any longer!) Perhaps I hadn't wanted to face it before, but... my last couple of X-periences produced residual intermittent jaw tension lasting *weeks* afterward. What was even stranger though was that the grinding syndrome seemed to only reappear when I got stoned. (What's the connection there?? Dopamine receptors!?) It finally diminished but it was unnerving for a while. It seemed to indicate that the stuff was still in my body, influencing my nervous system.

I don't know about "neurotoxic" but is it toxic? It sure is. But it suuuuuure feels NICE!

Elizabeth:
Re: MDMA; I took it last fall and didn't come really down for 9 days. It was ecstatic sometimes and not good sometimes and finally,. after 4 or 5 out of body experiences, this old body of mine begged to slow down. Later Saunders said that it probably was an interaction with the many inhalers I have to use for emphysema.

BF:
For me with good MDMA I had not ever felt any tolerance, even doing it everyday. I always got what I was looking for. But the bad X, whatever that is, totally dissagrees with my body and I hope to never do it again. After 11 years of doing it pretty much as often as I can get it, the good X still works it's magic as good as the first time. But the other stuff wipes me out and leaves my brain feeling like I sniffed glue or something. I started doing X during the middle of a coke habit and been doing at least 1/4 to 1 gram of Coke everday for about 1 1/2 years before. So to do a drug everyday was the norm for me. I spent 250.00 a week on X and thought it was great that I could stay high so cheaply. Ha! I don't remember jaw clenching back then, but when I get good X now I sure clench my jaw, other than that the effects are the same.

AA:
In the past, a dear friend of mine has used mdma 8 times. He also suffers from weekly migraine headaches. MDMA never seemed to cause migraines. However, stress sets them off very easily. and with mdma, it is very easy to amplify even the smallest amount of stress.

DS:
I took mdma 10 times, each time in a therapeutic setting. The sessions were all between 4-6 weeks apart. It was very high quality. The first experience was definitely the most profound, but i think that was partly because of it being the "first experience". The other 9 times did NOT lack any magic. however, without a doubt i did find i needed to keep upping the dosage to get the same effect.

It was very hard on my body, despite the purity, so i did not continue usage, though the value of it was extraordinary. The speed quality took at least 24 hours to wear off for me (and i'm not fond of speed), however the useful qualities (expanded awareness etc.) might last 5 days or more. I may well use it again someday, but there is a fine balance between what it took out of me and what it gave me.

Mantid:
I've taken MDMA somewhere between 10 and 15 times. There is a brief blur in my college days.

I would say that the last 5 of these times has resulted in a "crash" and that I have halted experimentation because of this.

I usually have an excellent experience while "up", and then slip into a mild state of disappointment as the effects wear off. Upon reaching "baseline", I often carry a memory of the experience and all I have learned, though it can get elusive (hard to remember). The resolutions I make while "up" suddenly seem naive and drug-based. The connections I made seem artificial and also drug-based, as my monkey-mind resumes control.

The 2nd day after is simialr to the first.

The 3rd day is the worst. Tired, cranky, skeptical of the value of MDMA, and making the kinds of promises a drunk might make at the toilet ("just let me feel better, i'll never drink again").

Some experiences, thought, have been so positive that the "hangover" is transparent or non-existant. The emotional charge has been so strong that it carries over into "real-life" but these experiences have sadly been the minority.

> earth: Some users report visual disturbances lasting 6 weeks or more, > difficulty concentrating, anxiety, irritability, vertigo, etc.

i have some of these symptoms, mostly the visual disturbances, which I tend to relate with drug use in general, though they did peak during peak periods of MDMA usage. I have not used many psychoactives at all (including marijuana) for the past 8 months, and symptoms have not improved dramaitcally.

I have tried 5-htp and not noticed any positve effect at all, though each experience has been so unique that a real comparison is difficult. The main point of interest has been that 2cb seems incredibly helpful. Taken right at the moment where the peak seems to be ending, the pleasant effects of MDAMA are prolonged and gently taper off. Also, the effects of the next couple days seem reduced when using this technique. 2cb also allows sleep shortly after the effects taper, whereas raw MDMA can keep me awake for an uncomfortable duration after pleasant effects have ceased.

Body load is usually minimal for me, though the jaw clenching and nystagmus are cerntainly present. I also have a problem with needing to suck my tongue, sometimes raw. Juice, gum, etc help to a degree, but not really.

I tend to take 100-150 mg, and 5-15 mg 2cb (being sensitive to 2cb). Doses of 75 mg MDMA have been ineffective.

GS:
We begin with the bio :

- I take E between 6 and 10 times a year, and have been doing so for at least 5 years.

- I take between 100 mg and 150 mg initially, and then boost between 50 mg and 100 mg during the experience. Boosting is most often oral, occasionally nasal.

- Approximately half the time, I attempt to repotentiate the E with small amounts (~10 - 20 mg) of Ketamine nasally. Usually, this succeeds.

- Approximately half the time, before the "crash" would ordinarily occur, I do heavy amounts ("hyperspace" amounts) of Ketamine. This carries me through what would ordinarily be the crash.

So, on to the actual data point :

- My body load during E tends to be minimal. Some jaw tension, some nystigmus. No nausea, and only mild anorexia, if that. I am occasionally hungry on E. The body load after E is also minimal, more to do with food and sleep deprivation than with the E itself.

- I never have a crash as you define it. Even when I am not doing the heavy K experience, I either gracefully waft down to a slight "glow", or the E just turns off. That's a bit of a letdown, but certainly not a chemical or emotional crash.

- I *always* have day two depressions, and these are frequently debilitating, often making it impossible for me to go to work, get out of bed, etc. 5-htp does nothing for this. I suspect that if it were not for my own experience in dealing with mental illness, I could even become suicidal during these periods. (On the other hand, maybe I wouldn't have these periods if it wasn't for the mental illness in the first place.)

The day two depression tends to last for 2 to 3 days, only gradually lightening up. The only exceptions to this are when a manic phase kicks in : Mania obliterates the effects of most hangovers.

- This has always been my reaction to E, from the very first time I began taking it. Even after a long (5 year) hiatus, E continued to treat me exactly the same way.

Nozzle:
The first time I took e was in September '97 (a birthday present). Since then, I've done it a handful of times a year with no ill effects.
I started on wellbutrin about 2 years ago for chemical depression (which I've had since I was 13 or so, so it's not related to taking e, btw), but to the best of my knowledge, this hasn't changed how I experience e. Depending on the quality of the drug, I don't tend to experience much jaw clenching or nystgmus (although, interestingly enough, I DO experience this when I repotentiate the e with k). I usually don't experience residual depression to a great extent - if I take 5HTP then the next day is kinda low-key, and maybe a bit blue, but nothing unendurable. The only times I've crashed hard (and by this I refer to feeling great then starting to cry and feeling suicidally depressed in the course of a sentence) was when I attempted to boost twice (i.e., starting with 100, then boosting 50 then boosting 50 AGAIN). When I've repotentiated with a bump of k at the end of the trip, I don't get the same over-boosted crash.

Overall, I get a feeling of "blue" and am rather introspective the next day, but I think that is usually due to having stayed up all night, and then having a really profoundly interesting and emotionally provocative experience to think about and reintegrate into my life.

Peregrine:
Day 2 to 5 or so after i have taken e, i get vertigo. it isn't constant but it feels the same way as you do when you've been out on a boat all day and then you come home and even though the floor is solid you have hallucinations of being on a floating surface that shifts a little. I tend to lose my balance just slightly, and mostly it's disorienting. each little vertiguous moment lasts only a split second and they occur about once ever hour and it lasts for 2-3 days.

Cope:
A good friend who I care deeply about is having some starnge symptoms and asked me to do a little reseacrh for her. She has been having intermittent dizzy spells of varying severity for almost two months now. They first appeared after the second or third time she tried Ketamine and since they reminded her very much of the sensation of K she thought they were related. I suggested she stop doing K and she did so. However, they have not stopped. She uses MDMA frequently, once or twice a week, up to three or four pills each time and rarely uses any other drugs (stopped acid after a couple of bad trips). She is concerned, but afraid to go to a doctor. I am inclined to think these spells probably aren't drug related, but she is afraid they are. Has anyone ever had any experiences like this? She says she gets dizzy, the world goes in and out of focus and she sometimes hears rushing noises.

Elfstone:
A few years back Evenstar and I were both doing a lot of MDMA (sometimes more than twice a week) for a period of several months, and developed very disturbing symptoms of vertigo that just didn't quit. We felt fine as long as we were lying down, but getting up and moving around was not an easy task. We stopped all entheogen intake and it took about a month before the vertigo began to let up. Repeat experiments with too frequent MDMA intake brought back the vertigo. We also noted that the symptoms were more quickly abated by taking an SSRI (Zoloft) for a few days as well. I have not known anyone else to develop these symptoms, but there are two of us out here who have definitely pushed the envelope that far and I strongly suspect your friend is having a similar reaction. Interestingly, Evenstar experimented with multiple weekly sessions of MDMA again a couple years later, but was taking Zoloft at the time. The vertigo did not develop. We both now feel that the recovery period is no longer worth the few minutes of less than adequate bliss that MDMA induces and have lost interest in it altogether.

dwayne:
I've crashed a couple of times before, although a couple of months ago I had about 140 mg nasally and, although I had *zero* energy for the next two days (I woke up the next morning and the thought of getting up knocked me out for another couple of hours, it took me most of the day to get out of bed, etc.) I felt fantastic for the next two weeks.

ADoc:
It really has made me reflect some on the concerns expressed above. I am fortunate in some ways. I came to the experience late in life (45). When i moved into that empathic state it was quite familiar to me and not something "new" that i had never experienced before (that is not to say it wasn't an entirely unique experience). It was a space i had been trying (with varying degrees of success) to cultivate in my life for many years. And continue to do so!

My concerns began when i recognized that for many folks (especially young ravers), E was the ONLY time they had that experience (deep love, sensual connectedness, loss of self into others, etc). And without having access to these realms in any other way, of course there was alot of frequent E repeated over frequently over long periods of time (who wouldn't want to be in that space?). imho, that is not a healthy baseline and i think most of us would agree that long term frequent use will be rather discombobulating.

Personally there were times, after my dreams, where i definitly had transient depression, or at least real out of sorts. Other times not.

MaxT:
How about this as a hypothesis: The magic of MDMA is not merely in the pharmacological effects, but also the fact that those effects place you in a mental state which is so different that the normal anxieties, thoughts, and other "bummers" don't apply. Using MDMA often enough, however, allows 1) the mind to build up a larger and larger cognitive map from memories encoded during MDMA experiences, and 2) a smearing together of the MDMA and non-MDMA states due to experiences, triggers, etc. common to both. Eventually, the MDMA state is familiar, which not only removes some of the "wow" component, but perhaps more importantly it means that the mind no longer partitions between MDMA and non-MDMA states. The state-dependency of emotions, information, etc. has been lost.

Jonas:
I get quite perplexed when I read that so many believes that they have less hangover from "pure" MDMA. I've ingested quite many different amphetamines/phenylethylamines and I get a hangover from atleast 90% of them. I know that these substances are of >98% purity as I've made them myself. My hangover consists of headache and sometimes depression (MDMA). The depression is due to the depletion of tryptophan hydroxylase - thus making the serotonin levels drop (see some of my previous posts where I rave about endogenous tryptamines). Low serotonin levels are most certainly the same thing as depression. The depression can be helped off with a supplement of a SSRI (eg Prozac, Zoloft etc). An extra supplement of some selected aminoacids may also be effective, eg tryptophan, carnitine etc. Also note that ALL phenylethylamines are POTENT oxidants thus making them effective in destroying neurons (a common thing among amphetamine abusers). It's really recommended that everyone who are taking entheogens in this class also takes LARGE supplements of antioxidants.

If you'd like to share your experience of after-effects (or lack thereof) from MDMA (Ecstasy) use, submit this form .