We accept all test referrals. Find a Collection Centre

Home Newsroom News

High-dose MDMA drug warning for NSW

Media Resources & Contact
3rd November, 2023

NSW Health is warning the public of multiple high-dose MDMA (ecstasy) tablets currently circulating in the state.

NSW Health Pathology’s Foren­sic & Ana­lyt­i­cal Sci­ence Ser­vice (FASS) has played a key role in test­ing three types of high dose MDMA tablet that have been recent­ly found in NSW.

The tablets are described as:
• blue dia­mond shaped tablet with ‘pun­ish­er’ logo con­tain­ing 216 mg MDMA
• blue skull shaped tablet with ‘MYBRAND’ logo and text con­tain­ing 216 mg MDMA
• yel­low square tablet with ‘Sponge­Bob’ smi­ley face mark­ings con­tain­ing 160 mg MDMA.

These tablets con­tain up to twice the aver­age amount of MDMA usu­al­ly con­tained in tablets cir­cu­lat­ing in NSW.

Oth­er drugs includ­ing cathi­nones, ket­a­mine and ket­a­mine ana­logues have recent­ly been detect­ed in some MDMA tablets and capsules.

Med­ical Direc­tor of the NSW Poi­sons Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre, Dr Dar­ren Roberts, said con­sum­ing high dos­es of MDMA has been linked to recent cas­es of seri­ous ill­ness and death in NSW.

“MDMA can cause severe agi­ta­tion, raised body tem­per­a­ture, seizures or fits, irreg­u­lar heart rhythm and death,” Dr Roberts said.

“The amount of MDMA in a tablet or cap­sule can vary a lot, even with­in the same batch. The health risks from MDMA are great­ly increased if high amounts (includ­ing mul­ti­ple dos­es) are con­sumed over a short peri­od. Oth­er risks include tak­ing MDMA in com­bi­na­tion with oth­er stim­u­lants, such as amphet­a­mines, cocaine or cathinones.

“Hot envi­ron­ments, such as at music fes­ti­vals, increase the risk of harm from MDMA. Tak­ing a break from danc­ing, seek­ing shade, and drink­ing water are impor­tant mea­sures to reduce the risk of over­heat­ing,” Dr Roberts said.

NSW Health reg­u­lar­ly informs the pub­lic of known high risk drugs in cir­cu­la­tion at Pub­lic drug alerts.

NSW Health Pathology’s Illic­it Drugs Analy­sis Unit works every day to keep the com­mu­ni­ty safe by con­duct­ing tests on drugs seized by police. Their work sup­ports the health and jus­tice sys­tems and con­tributes to pub­lic health alerts and drug warnings.

For more infor­ma­tion about stay­ing safe at fes­ti­vals, includ­ing the warn­ing signs to seek help, see: stayok.nsw.gov.au


Skip to content