Chemical Profile of Ecstasy Tablets – a Review


  • Emanuele Amorim Alves
  • Bruno Duarte Sabino



MDMA, Detection methods, Ecstasy tablets, Chemical profile, Drug intelligence investigations


Ecstasy is a popular name of a substance called 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Pharmacologically it displays effects related to amphetamine-type drugs like restlessness, well-being, and others. The Ecstasy is seized as tablets with a large variety of symbols and colors and an extremely diverse content. Also MDMA, other psychoactive compounds may be present, with or instead of, LSD, amphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and others. Considering the illicit production of ecstasy tablets, the raw materials used can be contaminated with several impurities and, multiple synthesis routes can be used generating a great variety number of sub-products and contaminants. The goal of this article is to evaluate the different methods of analysis described in the literature commonly used to determine the chemical profile of ecstasy tablets and use the analysis as a strategy to produce a database of ecstasy tablets seized at Rio de Janeiro State that will provide additional information for drug traffic repression. The interchange with others databases in Brazil and outside will evaluate the origin of these ecstasy tablets.




How to Cite

Emanuele Amorim Alves, & Bruno Duarte Sabino. (2013). Chemical Profile of Ecstasy Tablets – a Review. Brazilian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Medical Law and Bioethics, 2(2), 165–178.