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TWO batches of ecstasy containing lethal PMMA detected in Europe

PMMA is a chemical compound similar to MDMA but with some crucial differences. It completely prevents the body from regulating serotonin levels* and as a result, creates a high risk of fatal overheating. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it takes a long time to kick in, so people who think they are taking MDMA may take more as the slight effects lead them to think they just have weak pills.

The possibly lethal ecstasy tablets

The potentially lethal ecstasy tablets

PMMA is easily detected with the froehde and mandelin reagent tests, but people can’t detect it if they don’t test!

PMMA has been responsible for a number of deaths over the years but it typically only shows up in very isolated batches. Unusually, TWO separate batches have been identified in the last few days, leading Dutch authorities to launch a warning campaign to keep people safe.

The pills concerned are pink superman pills and red ferarri pills, both pictured below.

The pink superman pills are reported to have the superman logo on both sides, with an appearance similar to the batch that killed 4 people in the space of 2 weeks at the end of 2014. It only contains PMMA and the dosage in a single pill could be lethal.

Pink Superman PMMA ecstasy pill
Pink Superman Ecstasy

The Red Ferarri pill is a new press which is being sold online as containing “200+ mg of MDMA”. It was detected by EcstasyData and was purchased in Germany. It only contains PMMA.

Red Ferrari PMMA ecstasy pill

Red Ferrari Ecstasy

When tested with reagent tests these pills will give the following colours:

PMMA Reagent Reaction Table

The MDMA testing multipack is our best selling selection and contains 30 tests of the marquis, mecke and froehde reagents. A test takes 60 seconds to carry out and could prevent a ruined night out – or worse. If your result is inconclusive, don’t risk it!

If you can’t test for some reason, you must at least #CrushDabWait, but using your body to test if something is dangerous is obviously still very dangerous!


* Interested in the sciency bit? PMMA is a strong inhibitor of the enzyme “Monoamine Oxidase”and a serotonin releasing agent. When MDMA releases serotonin this enzyme breaks down some of it to keep levels in check and reduce the chance of overheating (but high doses can still override this of course).

With PMMA, serotonin is released but it has nowhere to go since the enzyme has been completely deactivated. This means that levels build continuously and the very high levels of serotonin lead to something called “Serotonin Syndrome”. This is where serotonin prevents normal regulation of temperature, and coupled with the stimulation from the drugs, the body goes into overdrive and overheats.

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4-FA reaction colour results with liebermann and froehde reagent test kits

4-FA is a fluorinated amphetamine which has a strong serotonergic component, making its effects much closer to that of MDMA than amphetamine. It is popular in northern europe as an alternative to MDMA because of its easygoing effects and appears to have the added bonus of an improved short and long term safety profile.

4-FA reacts to go reddish-orange when exposed to the liebermann reagent.

4-FA reaction with liebermann reagent test kit to go red-orange
4-FA reacts with the froehde reagent to go a faint purple-blue-brown.

Froehde 4-FA light purple-brown

4-FA does not change colour when exposed to the marquis reagent. It may fizz and/or smoke slightly due to the presence of the HCl counterion.
4-FA reaction with the marquis reagent
4-FA reacts to go bluish green when exposed to the Mandelin reagent.

4-FA reaction with Mandelin reagent test kit