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Role of Serotonin in Acute and Subacute MDMA Effects

Information source: California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: MDMA Mechanism of Action

Intervention: MDMA and citalopram (Drug); Placebo (Drug)

Phase: N/A

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute


The purpose of this study is to measure the effects of MDMA (particularly its emotional effects) and to determine the role of serotonin in these effects. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which is a chemical that is released by some brain cells to communicate with other brain cells. Many of the effects of MDMA are thought to be the result of increased serotonin release. In order to understand the effects of MDMA and role of serotonin in these effects, we will administer MDMA alone and in combination with the antidepressant citalopram (one trade name for this is Celexa). Citalopram decreases the ability of MDMA to release serotonin. Citalopram will therefore decrease any of MDMA's effects that are the result of serotonin release; we want to measure this.

Clinical Details

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Primary outcome: To determine if administration of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram decreases the subacute (post 24hr) discontinuation effects of MDMA in experienced MDMA users given a modest dose of MDMA

Secondary outcome: To determine if administration of the SSRI citalopram decreases the acute (post 1 to 4hr) social and emotional and cognitive effects of MDMA


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 50 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Healthy men or women aged 18 to 50 years

- Experienced with MDMA

Exclusion Criteria:

- Significant physical or psychiatric illness which might impair the ability to safely

complete the study or that might be complicated by the study drugs, including prior seizures (after age 8), history of major depression, or other active neurological disease or clinically significant abnormalities on physical examination or screening laboratory values

Locations and Contacts

CPMC Research Institute, St.Luke's Hospital, San Francisco, California 94110, United States
Additional Information

Starting date: February 2009
Last updated: May 29, 2013

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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