Introduction to MDA

[​IMG]MDA was first synthesized in 1910 by G. Mannish and W. Jacobson however its psychoactive effects had not yet been discovered until it was ingested in July of 1930 by a Mr. Gordon Alles, from there on Mr. Alles proceeded to license the rights of MDA to the Smith Kline and French Pharmaceutical Company. The official testing period for MDA began in 1939, at first with various animal subjects and then later on in 1941 with an assortment of human test subjects in an attempt to explore the possibility of MDAs antidepressant and anorectic effects. Between the years of 1949 and 1957, more than 500 human test subjects were administered a variety of MDA dosages, with only one death, occurring in january of 1953 as the result of a 450 milligram injection. Between 1958 and 1961 MDA was patented by H. D. Brown as a cough suppressant, and as an ataractic by Smith, Kline & French Pharmaceutical Company.

In 1963 MDA first appeared as a new recreational drug in the research chemical market. Inexpensive and readily available, MDA was seen for sale by a variety of scientific supply groups, however it was not until the 1970s that MDA was added to the United States list of controlled substances, though this affected MDAs market very little as it continued to flourish throughout the country. Pharmacologically, MDA possess a high affinity for the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine transporters, causing a release of serotonin and dopamine by acting as a substrate for the respective transporters similar to that of MDMA. However due to the higher efficiency for the 5HT2A serotonin receptor, MDA tends to cause more of a psychedelic/hallucinogenic effect than that of MDMA.

Using MDA

Ways of Administration

MDA can be administered through a variety of different routes including oral, intranasal, sublingual, intravenous, and rectally, however the most common route of administration is through oral consumption due most likely to the high concentration of serotonin receptors which are found within the gastrointestinal tract. An average dosage of MDA for oral administration is between 100 to 160 milligrams.

Column 1 Column 2
Overall Duration 6 - 10 hours
Onset 20 - 90 minutes
Duration 2 - 5 hours
After Effects 2 - 4 hours

Column 1 Column 2
Threshold 30 - 50 milligrams
Low 75 - 100 milligrams
Common 100 - 150 milligrams
High 130 - 170 milligrams
Very High 170+ milligrams

Effects of MDA


  • Elevated mood
  • Stimulation
  • Feelings of comfort and acceptance
  • Feelings of closeness with others
  • Feelings of love and empathy
  • Increased musical appreciation
  • Increased sensory awareness


  • Visual distortions
  • Mild visual hallucinations
  • Nystagmus


  • Elevated heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in body temperature regulation
  • Bruxism
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Nausea and vomiting

Pharmacology of MDA

LD50 (mg/kg) (as the hydrochloride) [1] :
Mice : 68 intraperitoneally
Rat : 27 intraperitoneally
guinea pig : 28 intraperitoneally

Chemistry of MDA

Column 1 Column 2
Systematic (IUPAC) name: [alpha]-methyl-1,3-benzodioxole-5-ethanamine
Synonyms: 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxy--methyl--phenylethylamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenylisopropylamine, "Love", EA-1299, NSC 9978, NSC 27106
Molecular Formula: C10H13NO2
Molar mass: 179.22 g/mol, 215.68 g/mol (hydrochloride)
CAS Registry Number: 4764-17-4, 6292-91-7
Melting Point: 187-188°C (crystals from isopropanol/ether), also reported 180-181°C (hydrochloride)
Boiling Point: 157°C @ 22 mmHg, 80-90°C @ 0.2 mmHg
Flash Point: no data
Solubility: Hydrochloride easily soluble in water, alcohol
Additionnal data: none
Notes: Freebase aspect : almost colorless oil. Hydrochloride : crystals from isopropanol/ether

The Dangers of MDA

MDA is considerably more toxic than MDMA with the symptoms typically stemming from overstimulation of the central nervous system and cardio vascular system. Likewise the concept has been brought into question that many of the substituted amphetamine type drugs such as MDA and MDMA may possibly be neurotoxic.

The median lethal dose (LD50) of MDA has been reported in mice as 92 mg/kg by intraperitoneal injection.

MDA is a controlled substance : 21 CFR 1308.11

United Nations

MDA is considered to be a Schedule I drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.


MDA is considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States as of 1970.



MDA is listed as a controlled substance in Brazil making it illegal to buy, sell, possess, or manufacture.

United Kingdom

MDA is considered to be a Class A substance in the United Kingdom, making it illegal to buy, sell, possess, or manufacture.

New Zealand

MDA is considered to be a Class A substance in New Zealand.


As of 2012, MDA is considered to be a schedule I substance in the country of Canada.

MDA Images



[1]Merck Index, fifteenth edition (2013)

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