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MDMA Drug Screen (Urine)

Does this test have other names?

MDMA urine screening test 

What is this test?

This is a urine test to screen for MDMA, the abbreviation for methylenedioxymethamphetamine (METH-ill-eh-NED-ee-oh-METH-am-FEH-tuh-meen). This is a street drug also called Ecstasy. It's a popular drug at raves, dance clubs, and high school parties. Street names for MDMA include E, Molly, XTC, Adam, clarity, Stacy, lover's speed, and essence. MDMA comes in capsules or tablets. It can also be crushed and snorted or smoked as a powder.

MDMA makes the user feel euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy, and a sense of closeness and intimacy. It also reduces normal sexual inhibitions. At typical doses, side effects include nausea, agitation, rapid heartbeat, and high blood pressure. In rare cases, it can bring on life-threatening increases in blood pressure and heart rate. It can also lead to:

  • Seizures

  • Delirium

  • Dehydration

  • Hyperthermia, or dangerously elevated body temperature

  • Death

The hallucinogenic effects of MDMA usually last 3 to 5 hours. But the drug can be found in your urine for longer than that, especially if you are a regular user. This test shows if you have used MDMA in the last 1 to 3 days by finding it in your urine.

Drug abuse is a common problem at many workplaces, schools, and sports organizations. It's so widespread that some employers regularly require testing when you apply for a job. Some athletic associations, courts, and drug abuse treatment centers also require drug testing. 

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if an employer requires you as a job applicant to take this test. Athletes in professional and amateur sports are usually tested for drug use. So are people who have gone to rehab centers to overcome addiction.

Emergency rooms often do a drug test if you're injured or unconscious, or a victim of date rape, or the healthcare staff suspects that you have overdosed. 

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Especially in the case of a suspected drug overdose, your healthcare provider may order other tests. These include:

  • Fingerstick glucose

  • Acetaminophen and salicylate levels

  • Electrocardiogram

  • Pregnancy test

People with very high levels of this drug in their system may also have tests to find out if it's causing other problems in their bodies. These include:

  • Serum electrolytes and serum osmolality tests to measure chemicals in your blood

  • Creatine kinase

  • Myoglobin, found in the urine

  • Serum creatinine

  • Serum aminotransferase concentrations

  • Blood-clotting and other coagulation tests, such as activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, international normalized ratio, platelet count, and D-dimer 

What do my test results mean?

Some drug tests are very sensitive and show a positive result even if you have only a small amount of MDMA in your body. It's possible to get a false-positive. This means the test result is positive even if you do not use MDMA. Talk with your healthcare provider about whether the prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines you take could cause a false-positive test result.

If your test results are uncertain, your healthcare provider may order a more sensitive test for MDMA. All results from a screening test should be confirmed by a certified lab.

How is the test done?

The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand. 

Does this test pose any risks?

This test poses no known risks. 

What might affect my test results? 

Certain prescription and OTC medicines may also give a positive test result. These include pseudoephedrine and certain antidepressants. Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking or using anything that could affect your results. 

One disadvantage to urine drug tests is that people have found ways to cheat the test. So their test shows a negative result that should be positive because of drug use. Another disadvantage is that surveillance to prevent cheating is intrusive. Some testers insist on being present while people provide a urine sample. This can be embarrassing. Labs can also run tests on the sample to determine whether the sample is valid or if it has been tampered with. 

How do I get ready for this test?

You don't have to prepare for this test. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use. 

Medical Reviewers:

  • Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP
  • Haldeman-Englert, Chad, MD