What Are the Side Effects of MDA?

MDA is often illegally made.
MDA is often illegally made. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Niels Heidenreich)

MDA is a schedule one drug in the United States, which means that the law considers it illegal with no legitimate medical use. However, MDA does have an underground drug following. Side effects from MDA use can potentially cause death or very serious health problems.


MDA, chemically known as 4,4'-Methylenedianiline, appears as light yellow crystals, but becomes dark yellow after reacting with air, reports the Environmental Protection Agency (See References 1). DrugFree notes that MDA is often called the "Love Drug" because it may increase sexual activity (See References 2).


Users of MDA may develop short-term health effects or chronic, long-term side effects, reports the U.S. EPA (See References 1). MDA side effects share many similarities to other mood altering drugs such as MDMA and DOM, claims DrugFree (See References 2).

Acute Effects

MDA can cause severe liver damage in as little as one dose, reports the US EPA. MDA may also result in vomiting, muscle cramps, jaundice, and general weakness (See References 1).

Long Term Effects

The US EPA reports that there are no known clinical trials on the long-term effects of MDA in humans. However, long-term exposure in rats is associated with an increased incidence of tumors (See References 1).


MDA is considered a "substitute amphetamine." Amphetamines are known to induce delusions and hallucinations after using large quantities or after long-term abuse, reports DrugFree (See References 2).

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