MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy) Supplements

Learn which MDMA supplements RollSafe recommends and why, including ALA and ALCAR.

Supplements and MDMA

The benefits of taking supplements with MDMA

  1. Some supplements have been shown in research to reduce or prevent MDMA-induced neurotoxcity in rodent studies.

  2. Supplements may reduce the risk you’ll lose MDMA’s effects over time (hypothetical)

  3. Anecdotal reports suggest supplements increase afterglow and reduce comedowns for some people

There are all-in-one products like RaveBox that provide a set of supplements.

Supplements may help protect your brain on MDMA

Supplements like Alpha Lipoic Acid, ALCAR, Vitamin C, Co-Q10 and some others have been shown to reduce or prevent MDMA-induced neurotoxicity in rodent studies.1 2 3 4

High and/or frequent doses of MDMA have been shown to be neurotoxic in laboratory animals.5 However, no properly controlled studies have shown cognitive impairments in human users after a period of abstention long enough to rule out temporary effects of MDMA, polydrug use, and a partying/unhealthy lifestyle.

It seems likely the safer your MDMA dosage, the less important supplements may be. Supplements may not be needed with total doses (including any booster doses or re-doses taken) below 2 mg/kg, so 145 mg total during a session if you weigh 160 lbs.6 However, others disagree and are “inclined to see people using multiple supplements with every dose they take (Fitzgerald 2017).”

RollSafe is certainly biased, as some supplements are advertised here.

Supplements, afterglows and comedowns

Anecdotal evidence only.

Supplements may reduce the risk you’ll lose MDMA’s effects over time

There is a possibility that taking supplements with MDMA may help reduce the risk of “losing the magic.” “Losing the magic” is when MDMA users find that after a few years of occasional or heavy use, it stops working for them. This does not appear to be the case in all users, and anecdotal reports suggest that it may be related to the frequency of use.

Still, particularly as MDMA heads into Phase 3 trials with the FDA for the treatment of PTSD and looks to have a future as a medicine with MDMA-assisted therapy, anything that might prevent the loss of MDMA’s special effects with occasional usage in therapy over time is interesting.

A 2001 paper found that the neuroprotective antioxidant Vitamin C significantly reduced tolerance to MDMA in rodents.7

We don’t know if preventing tolerance prevents losing the magic.

List of supplements:

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection1
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection2
  • Electrolytes or isotonic fluids, to reduce risk of the serious condition hyponatremia8 9 10
  • Magnesium, anecdotal reports of reducing jaw clenching
  • Ascorbate (Vitamin C), evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection3
  • Vitamin E, evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection11
  • Nicotinamide, evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection12
  • Ubiquinone (Co-Q10), evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection4
  • 5-HTP with EGCG, anecdotal reports of reducing comedown. There is no high quality evidence that 5-HTP is dangerous to combine with MDMA, though there are rumors that this is a bad combination. If you know of good evidence either way, please send it to us.

There are all-in-one products like RaveBox that provide a set of supplements.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Recommended formulations:

Recommended dosage and frequency:

  • Proposed: 300mg ALA with MDMA, then every 1-2 hours after that until 7 h post dose (total of 1200-2400mg)
  • Do not consume more than 2400mg of ALA per day13

“Repeated administration of the metabolic antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (100 mg/kg, i.p., b.i.d. for 2 consecutive days) 30 min prior to MDMA did not prevent the acute hyperthermia induced by the drug; however, it fully prevented the serotonergic deficits and the changes in the glial response induced by MDMA.”

Aguirre N, Barrionuevo M, Ramírez MJ, Del río J, Lasheras B. Alpha-lipoic acid prevents 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA)-induced neurotoxicity. Neuroreport. 1999;10(17):3675-80.1

ALA vs Na-RALA

ALA is recommended vs Na-RALA (RALA) because it is more cost effective.14

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR)

Recommended formulations:

Recommended dosage and frequency:

  • Proposed: 500mg ALCAR 3h before MDMA, 1h after MDMA, and 5h after MDMA (total of 1500mg)
  • Do not consume more than 2500mg of ALCAR per day15

“The present work is the first to successfully demonstrate that pretreatment with ALC exerts effective neuroprotection against the MDMA-induced neurotoxicity at the mitochondrial level, reducing carbonyl formation, decreasing mtDNA deletion, improving the expression of the respiratory chain components and preventing the decrease of 5-HT levels in several regions of the rat brain.”

Alves E, Binienda Z, Carvalho F, et al. Acetyl-L-carnitine provides effective in vivo neuroprotection over 3,4-methylenedioximethamphetamine-induced mitochondrial neurotoxicity in the adolescent rat brain. Neuroscience. 2009;158(2):514-23.2

Electrolytes or isotonic fluids

Recommended formulations:

Recommended dosage and frequency:

  • As a rough guideline: ~110mg sodium with 250ml of fluid per hour
  • Do not consume more than 2300mg of sodium per day16

“Hyponatremia is a serious complication of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use.”

“Combining studies, MDMA potentiated the ability of water to lower serum sodium.”

Baggott MJ, Garrison KJ, Coyle JR, et al. MDMA Impairs Response to Water Intake in Healthy Volunteers. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2016;2016:2175896.17

“Prevention of hyponatremia with limited consumption of electrolyte containing fluids and controlled ambient temperatures are required to preserve the body’s homeostatic maintenance of fluid balance.”10

Vitamin C

Recommended formulations:

Recommended dosage and frequency:

  • Proposed: 500mg every three hours, starting ~3 hours before taking MDMA, finishing ~6-7 hours after your MDMA dose
  • Be cautious with Vitamin C, as “higher doses (2,000-6,000mg) may cause diarrhea.”18 If you know you can take more Vitamin C without GI-issues, consider taking 500mg every 1-2 hours instead of every 3 hours, as smaller frequent doses of supplements may be better.

“Treatment of rats with ascorbic acid suppressed the generation of hydroxyl radicals, as evidenced by the production of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid from salicylic acid, in the striatum during the administration of a neurotoxic regimen of MDMA. Ascorbic acid also attenuated the MDMA-induced depletion of striatal 5-HT content.”

Shankaran M, Yamamoto BK, Gudelsky GA. Ascorbic acid prevents 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-induced hydroxyl radical formation and the behavioral and neurochemical consequences of the depletion of brain 5-HT. Synapse. 2001;40(1):55-64.3

Magnesium

Magnesium may help with jaw clenching (anecdotal reports). Magnesium is not for neuroprotection, like the other supplements.

Recommended formulations:

  • Any trusted brand with magnesium glycinate (diglycinate), magnesium gluconate, or magnesium citrate.
    • Anecdotal reports suggest that diarrhea is rare with these forms of magnesium, however likely not nonexistent. Magnesium glycinate and gluconate may have the lowest rates of GI-upset, followed by magnesium citrate.19
    • Avoid magnesium oxide or magnesium chloride, as diarrhea is more common with these forms.19
    • “1g of Magnesium Oxide daily is sufficient to induce diarrhea as a reported side effect in 12% of the study group in this study.”19
  • Most expensive and possibly best form (for absorption): Magnesium Gluconate
    • Too expensive to recommend! On the order of 5x more expensive than magnesium glycinate.
  • Mid-range and good absorption: Magnesium Glycinate
  • Alternate form if you don’t like Glycinate or Gluconate: Magnesium Citrate

Recommended dosage and frequency:

  • Proposed: 1-2 tablets (100-200mg elemental magnesium) every few hours as needed

Anecdotal reports suggest that magnesium may help reduce jaw clenching while rolling / using MDMA. We are unaware of high quality scientific evidence supporting this.

Other supplements, perhaps less important

Vitamin E, evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection11

Nicotinamide, evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection12

Ubiquinone (Co-Q10), evidence suggesting MDMA neuroprotection4

5-HTP with EGCG, anecdotal reports of reducing comedown. Avoid 5-HTP within 24 h of MDMA (hypothetical concerns due to serotonin interaction).

Taking melatonin (proposed: 5-9mg) before bed may be useful as a sleep-aid after MDMA, with the added bonus that melatonin is a powerful antioxidant.20 However, the evidence for melatonin assisting with MDMA neuroprotection is much weaker than the other supplements, which have been studied in rodents with MDMA.

What if this is too many pills for me?

Just take ALA and ALCAR. If you’d prefer to take a very small number of supplements, I’d say just do ALA, though you could go either way and do ALCAR only instead.

If jaw clenching is an issue for you, add magnesium to the mix too.

What if I’m going to a festival or club and can’t easily take in supplements?

Perhaps just take ALCAR instead of ALA, as ALCAR has a substantially longer elimination half life - ALCAR stays in your system for longer than ALA does (about 4.2 h for 500 mg ALCAR vs 36 min for 600 mg ALA).

So perhaps take ~1000 mg ALCAR before entering the club/festival. CoQ10 is probably less important as a supplement as it’s likely harder to get useful amounts absorbed, but 100 mg of CoQ10 has an elimination half life of 33 hours.

So perhaps also add ~200-600mg of CoQ10 maybe ~6 hours before you’re planning on rolling. CoQ10 will reach maximum levels in your body ~6.5 hours after being ingested. Vitamin E also has a very long elimination half life.

Summary of minimal routine for when you can’t safely take supplements inside a club or festival:

  • ~1000 mg ALCAR ~3 hours before you roll (not more than 2500 mg in a day)
  • ~200-600 mg of CoQ10 ~6.5 hours before you roll (not more than 3600 mg in a day)
  • 800-IU of Vitamin E ~13 hours before you roll (not more than 1600-IU in a day)

Timing doesn’t have to be exact. CoQ10 and Vitamin E should be taken 6 hours before rolling or more, whereas ALCAR should be taken 3 hours before rolling or less.

Should I take 5-HTP after rolling on Molly?

There are anecdotal reports that taking 5-HTP in the nights following MDMA use may help reduce a comedown. There are also anecdotal reports that taking EGCG with the 5-HTP makes it more effective at reducing the comedown. There’s no strong evidence supporting either of these recommendations.

There’s some evidence21 that a precursor to 5-HTP may be beneficial in memory related tasks in ex-MDMA users, so if you’re a heavy user or following less safe practices (e.g. re-doses, frequent use, higher dosages) it may be worth considering taking 5-HTP for a week after using MDMA, starting the night after your MDMA session. Adding green tea catechins (i.e. EGCG and EGC) should help.22

For safety purposes, RollSafe recommends avoiding 5-HTP within 24 hours of MDMA consumption. This recommendation is based on a private conversation we had with a respected drug researcher. We noticed that after we first published the RollSafe guideline on this, avoiding 5-HTP within 24 hours has become the standard recommendation. If any researchers know of more specific time frame recommendations for 5-HTP with MDMA/Molly, we’d like to know.

See also: The Effects of Molly the Day After and How to Prevent and Treat an MDMA Comedown.

Reviews

If you’ve taken supplements with MDMA, we’d love to read your review: Submit a review of an MDMA Supplement

All-in-One Supplement Kits for MDMA

All-in-one supplement kits take the individual supplements and sell them as one package.

Downside is the all-in-one kit costs more than buying in bulk and their supplement dosages could be improved, but they are convenient which is a huge plus for many and RaveBox has free shipping worldwide.

All-in-One Supplement Box for MDMA: RaveBox

MDMA Supplement All-in-One Pack

If you’ve purchased and taken an all-in-one MDMA supplement kit, we’d love to check out and possibly add your review: Submit a review of an MDMA All-in-One Supplement Kit

RaveBox Coupon

‘ROLLSAFE’

Other combo suppliers:

HUP, ~€11, coupon/promo code ‘Rollsafe’

Supplement dosing schedule

  • 3h before MDMA ingestion: 500mg ALCAR, 500mg Vitamin C
  • 2h before: Nothing
  • 1h before: Optional - 1 tablet (100mg) Magnesium
  • With MDMA: 300mg ALA, 500mg Vitamin C
  • 1h after MDMA ingestion: 300mg ALA, 500mg ALCAR
  • 2h after: 300mg ALA, Optional - 1 tablet (100mg) Magnesium
  • 3h after: 300mg ALA, 500mg Vitamin C
  • 4h after: 300mg ALA
  • 5h after: 300mg ALA, 500mg ALCAR
  • 6h after: 300mg ALA, 500mg Vitamin C
  • 7h after: 300mg ALA

Every hour, remember the fluid rules: 250ml total fluids (ideally electrolyte-containing) if not dancing, 500ml if dancing/in a hot environment.

Make a supplement sheet

If you’re rolling at home, get a piece of paper and mark times e.g. 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm, 12am/bed, and put the supplements for each person underneath those times. This is so that you don’t have to figure out what you’re supposed to be supplementing while you’re rolling - MDMA can make it harder to remember to check if it’s time to take your supplements, and it can make it harder to remember which supplements to take.

More information on MDMA

Go to the main page: MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy).

Supplements for psychedelics like LSD and shrooms

See supplements to reduce anxiety and nausea while tripping, and reduce the odds of a “bad” trip.

References

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