Erowid References Database
Denborough MA, Hopkinson KC.
“Dantrolene and 'ecstasy'”.
Med J Aust. 1997 Nov 3;167(9):506-7.
Hyperthermia is a prominent clinical feature of 3,4-methylenedioxy- methamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') intoxication, and also of malignant hyperthermia (MH). The basic biochemical abnormality in MH is a raised level of calcium ions in the myoplasm. Dantrolene sodium (Dantrium; Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals) specifically lowers myoplasmic calcium levels and is thus a very effective treatment for MH. Dantrolene has also been suggested and used successfully as a treatment for ecstasy intoxication, but its use in ecstasy overdose has been criticised.
To try and resolve this controversy, we carried out experiments to examine whether ecstasy caused an elevation of calcium within the muscle cell. If ecstasy did produce such results, it would imply that the hyperthermia in ecstasy overdose has a similar pathogenesis to the hyperthermia in MH, and that dantrolene should be as effective for ecstasy overdose as it is for MH.
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