A new study suggests that the use of MDMA and other similar drugs may increase the risk of valvular heart disease. Valvular heart disease is the damage in one of four heart valves: the mitral, aortic, tricuspid, or pulmonary. Since these four valves control blood flow to and from the heart among the rest of the body, this study is precarious news
Here Are The Findings
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis between certain medications and VHD. They discovered a significant and consistent relationship between serotonergic activity and cardiac valvular pathology. They outlined their findings in Heart and found that any additional serotonergic or dopaminergic medications pose similar negative replications. For any analyses limiting exposure to a single medication, they also found significant singular valve activity. Dosage and length of exposure are direct variables of their findings.
“The link between certain medications and valvular pathologies has been well established in the literature. Evidence from the basic and translational sciences has indicated that these medications may exert their effect through serotonergic pathways.” – Jacqueline H. Fortier, MSc, and colleagues
To sum up, the use of serotonergic/dopaminergic medications can significantly alter the functions of heart valves. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain. Chemical reactions between drugs and our bodily functions can induce unwarranted bodily responses. Long term uses of ecstasy contribute to just that. Amphetamine-derived drugs act as psychoactive stimulants and can lead to fenfluramine-like proliferation of cardiac valves.
We all know about the dangers of recreational drug use when it comes to overheating. Now, another subplot to the story gets introduced. It is never a good idea to put yourselves at risk with this. It isn’t just recreational drugs we need to be careful of. Clinicians and pathologists need to be aware of the potential that certain medications can induce. Enhanced surveillance should be considered for those patients, before another public health crisis emerges. Let’s remember to stay safe everyone.