MDMA-related presentations to the emergency departments of the European Drug Emergencies Network plus (Euro-DEN Plus) over the four-year period 2014-2017.

Noseda, Roberta; Schmid, Yasmin; Scholz, Irene; Liakoni, Evangelia; Liechti, Matthias E; Dargan, Paul I; Wood, David M; Dines, Alison M; Yates, Christopher; Heyerdahl, Fridtjof; Hovda, Knut E; Giraudon, Isabelle; Ceschi, Alessandro (2021). MDMA-related presentations to the emergency departments of the European Drug Emergencies Network plus (Euro-DEN Plus) over the four-year period 2014-2017. Clinical toxicology, 59(2), pp. 131-137. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/15563650.2020.1784914

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3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) remains one of the most commonly used recreational drugs in Europe. Monitoring of Emergency Department (ED) presentations with acute toxicity associated with MDMA is important to determine trends in MDMA use and harms.


Data were extracted from the European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN) Plus database for all ED presentations with acute toxicity involving MDMA use, alone or in combination with other substances, between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2017. Geographical distribution, time trends, patient demographics, clinical features, management and outcome were analysed.


Out of 23,947 presentations, 2013 (8.4%) involved MDMA, used alone (88, 4.4%) or with other substances (1925, 95.6%). The proportion of MDMA presentations varied by country, from over 15% in France to less than 5% in Norway. For the 15 sentinel centres where data were available for all four years, MDMA-related presentations peaked in 2016 (10.4% versus 8.1% in 2015, p < 0.0001), thereafter decreasing in 2017 (8.2%, p = 0.0002). 1436 (71.3%) presentations involved males. Females were significantly younger than males (median 23 years, interquartile range, IQR, 20-27 years, versus median 25 years, IQR 21-30 years, p < 0.0001). Compared to presentations of acute toxicity with lone-use cocaine, presentations with lone-use MDMA occurred more frequently during the weekend (58.0% versus 43.9%, p = 0.02), were more frequently medically discharged directly from the ED (74.7% versus 62.4%, p = 0.03), and less frequently received sedation (43.5% versus 66.5%, p = 0.003).


This large multicentre series of MDMA presentations to EDs showed geographical variation and changes in time trends and in patient demographics. Triangulation with data from complementary sources including seizures, prevalence of use and wastewater analysis, will enable a greater understanding of the public health implications of MDMA use in Europe.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Scholz, Irene and Liakoni, Evangelia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Taylor & Francis




Christine Baumgartner

Date Deposited:

24 Aug 2020 17:32

Last Modified:

20 Jan 2021 01:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Emergency Department Euro-DEN Plus acute toxicity recreational use




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