Ecstasy remains in the body for about 40 hours.
Ecstasy has a half-life of approximately 9 to 10 hours. This means it takes about that amount of time for the body to reduce the first concentration of the drug by 50 percent.
After that point, the other half of the amount taken remains in the blood. It may take up to five half-lives for 95 percent of the drug to leave the body. This equates to a time period of around 40 hours for ecstasy.
Some users take a second dose of ecstasy after the first dose begins to fade. Since ecstasy’s effects last approximately three to six hours, some users repeatedly take the drug every few hours to keep the effects going.
Types of Drug Tests & the Results
How long ecstasy stays in the body varies according to certain personal factors. And certain tests can detect MDMA for varying persons of time. These are the time frames you can expect with specific types of drug tests:
- Blood test: Ecstasy may show on a blood test for up to 71 hours, or approximately three days, after last use.
- Saliva test: Ecstasy will show on a saliva drug test for one to two days.
- Urine test: Ecstasy may remain in urine for as long as five days, or 120 hours, after use.
- Hair follicle test: Ecstasy can linger in hair for several months. A person may test positive for ecstasy on a hair follicle test for up to 90 days after use.
Pros & Cons of Each Drug Testing Type
There are four main types of tests that can be used to detect ecstasy use: hair, blood, saliva, and urine tests. Each type of test has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Hair testing can detect ecstasy use up to 90 days after the last time the person took the drug. Despite this long detection window, hair testing is the most expensive type of test. While it’s not as common as blood or urine tests, it may be used to verify any tests that are inconclusive.
Blood testing is more invasive than saliva or urine drug tests. As a result, it is not as commonly used. Generally, ecstasy can be detected in blood for one to three days after use.
If the person tested has dry mouth, you may have problems getting an accurate result. This may also occur if the sample was viscous, something that may require centrifugation.
Urine drug testing (UDT) is the most common type of testing used because the sample is easy to collect. Urine often has high concentrations of drugs and their metabolites. For ecstasy, the detection window is longer than with blood or saliva tests, so you can get a reading for up to five days.
The main disadvantage of urine testing is that the sample can be manipulated if a testing professional is not present. As a result, the reading may show a false positive.
Factors That Impact Ecstasy’s Duration in the Body
Several factors come into play when ecstasy is broken down in the body. These factors include the plasma concentration as it relates to the user’s height and weight, sex, age, and genetics. The dosage will also play a big role in how long the drug remains in the body.
Height & Weight
The height and weight of the subject plays an important role in how long ecstasy stays in the body and what the user experiences.
If someone who is heavier and taller takes the same amount of the drug as someone who is shorter or lighter, the bigger person will not feel the effects as acutely as the smaller person.
When doses of ecstasy are given to men and women of the same height and weight, the effects of the drug are stronger in women than they are for men.
When used by younger users, the remaining presence of the drug can impair brain development. Younger users (under 18 years old) are more susceptible to the drug’s neurotoxicity than older individuals.
In studies, users with the genetic enzyme CYP2D6 show a greater plasma concentration of ecstasy. The drug broke down in the system of these users more slowly.
If a person takes multiple doses of ecstasy, it will take longer to process out of the body.
A Sign That Help Is Needed
If you are concerned about ecstasy showing up on a drug test, it’s likely a sign that you need help. Any use of ecstasy is considered abuse, and this use is dangerous, particularly since you can’t really know what is in an ecstasy pill. If a pill you take is cut with a life-threatening dose of another substance like fentanyl, overdose could be fatal.
With comprehensive addiction treatment, you’ll learn how to cope with triggers without returning to ecstasy use. You’ll begin to build a balanced life in recovery, and you’ll emerge a happier, healthier person.
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- MDMA and Metabolite Disposition in Expectorated Oral Fluid Following Controlled Oral MDMA Administration. (October 2012). Therapeutic Drug Monitoring.