How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?

Colorful ecstasy pills lined up in rows

If you consume ecstasy, you may wonder how long it takes for the drug to leave your body. Although the effects of ecstasy use appear quickly, the drug can take days to leave the body. In some cases, ecstasy can be detected for months. Knowing how the drug breaks down in the body is key to understanding the amount of time ecstasy can be detected in your body.

Duration of Ecstasy Effects

Ecstasy absorbs from the gastrointestinal tract quickly. The drug then starts to take effect within about 30 minutes. The effects of the drug peak within one to three hours after taking it, with mental effects lasting for four to six hours. However, some mental effects can last for days. The most common mental effects are:

  • Low mood
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • Having trouble concentrating

Because ecstasy is a stimulant, it can cause physical changes in your body that can also last for days like:

  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Back pain and stiffness
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Changes in heart rate

Ecstasy Half-Life

The half-life of a drug is how long it takes half of it to leave your system. Ecstasy’s half-life is about seven hours. However, if your urine is less acidic than average, it can take longer for ecstasy to leave your body. In that case, the half-life can be 16 to 31 hours. Because it takes about five half-lives for a drug to be out of your system, this means ecstasy can stay in your system from 35 hours to almost a week.

How Long Does Ecstasy Show in Drug Test?

Ecstasy will show up on several different drug tests. How long it takes for the drug to show up, and how long the test stays positive, depends on what is being tested.


Ecstasy starts to show up in urine within two hours after taking it. Overall, about one-third of the drug is released through urine within the first 24 hours following drug use. Ecstasy can show up on urine tests during that time. It is rare to have ecstasy detected through a urine test more than 48 hours after taking the drug. 


Ecstasy shows up in blood within one to two hours after taking the drug. The amount of ecstasy in a person’s blood decreases within four to six hours. However, ecstasy can still be found in the blood for about 24 hours after taking it.


Saliva tests are one of the easiest ways to test for ecstasy. The drug can even be detected in portable roadside drug kits that some police officers carry. Ecstasy starts to show up in saliva from 15 minutes to just under two hours after use The drug can be detected in saliva for at least 24 hours after ingestion, but can remain detectable in saliva for almost three days.


Ecstasy can be detected in hair for months following use. Each half-inch of hair growth can reveal drug use for the 30-day period in which it grew. However, it is unclear if ecstasy is easily detectable in the hair of people who rarely use it.

Factors Affecting How Long Ecstasy Stays in Your System

Different factors determine how long ecstasy stays in your body. Such factors include:

  • Amount used: Because you need to wait for the liver to break down ecstasy, the more you take, the longer it takes to leave your body.
  • Frequency of use: Frequent use may make you more likely to test positive on hair tests.
  • Method of use: Snorting, crushing or smoking ecstasy may lead to quicker onset times. However, no studies have been done to show if this impacts how long the drug stays in your body.
  • Age: An elderly person is likely to take a longer time to get rid of ecstasy than someone younger.
  • Overall health: Someone in good health is likely to clear ecstasy quicker than someone in poor health.
  • Alkaline urine: The less acidic your urine, the longer the drug stays in your system.

False Positives for Ecstasy

Ecstasy false positives are rare, especially in hair tests. However, false positives are possible. False positives in tests may occur if you are taking:

  • The cholesterol drug fenofibrate
  • The mood and sleep drug trazodone
  • Other legal stimulants, like Sudafed

How Ecstasy is Broken Down in the Body

Once swallowed, ecstasy starts breaking down into tiny pieces in the stomach. Some of the drug absorbs from the stomach directly into the bloodstream. However, the rest of the drug releases from the stomach into the top part of the gastrointestinal tract. From there, the drug dissolves into the bloodstream and goes into all the major organs of the body, including the brain. The liver then breaks down ecstasy into chemicals, which leave the body in the urine.

How to Get Ecstasy Out of Your System

Once you have taken ecstasy, there is nothing you can do to speed up the process of getting it out of your system. Your liver needs time to process the drug. Because some of the liver enzymes needed to process ecstasy are not present in large quantities in your body naturally, it can take days for ecstasy to process.

Key Points: How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?

Key points about how long ecstasy stays in your system include:

  • Ecstasy effects usually last for up to six hours
  • It can take about one week for ecstasy to be completely out of your body
  • Blood, saliva and urine usually test positive for ecstasy for at least 24 hours. Hair can test positive for months.
  • There is no way to speed up how fast your body processes ecstasy

If you struggle with ecstasy use, contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield to speak with a representative about how addiction treatment can help you. Take the first step toward a healthier future, call today.

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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.