14 February 2020
NSW Health is warning the community of the dangers of high-dose orange MDMA (ecstasy) tablets labelled “QDANCE”, currently in circulation. 

Professor Andrew Dawson, Clinical Director of the NSW Poisons Information Centre, said the dangerous drugs contained more than two to three times the common dose.

“Just one MDMA tablet or capsule alone can cause life-threatening toxicity,” Prof Dawson said. 

“The risk is greatly increased if high doses or multiple MDMA tablets or capsules are consumed over a short period, or if MDMA is consumed in combination with alcohol or other stimulants, such as methamphetamine or cocaine.

“Hot, humid weather also increases the dangers, as MDMA causes the body to dangerously overheat, potentially leading to organ failure, loss of consciousness and death.

“Consumption of high doses of MDMA has been linked to cases of serious illness and death in NSW. It can cause severe agitation and paranoia, raised body temperature, seizures or fits, heart rhythm problems and death.”

Prof Dawson urged anyone who feels unwell from MDMA to immediately call Triple Zero.

“Look after your mates. If you feel unwell, or if your friend feels unwell, do something about it. Don’t ignore it. You won’t get into trouble for seeking medical care,” he said.

NSW Police recently seized a series of the orange QDANCE tablets. For images and information about the tablets see the NSW Health website​.

The NSW Government has been placing Amnesty Bins at some music festivals so patrons have a chance to discard illegal drugs without fear of prosecution or penalty.

The measure is a key part of the NSW Government’s response to the Deputy Coroner’s recommendations following the inquest into the deaths of six patrons at NSW music festivals, which found five people died from MDMA toxicity and one person died from combined MDMA and cocaine toxicity.

NSW Health has also released updated Guidelines for Music Festival Event Organisers which support the delivery of safer music festivals.

For information about adverse effects of MDMA contact the NSW Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26. For confidential and anonymous telephone counselling contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) – 1800 250 015 – a 24/7 service.

The 2019-20 NSW Budget commits $231.6 million to delivering alcohol and other drug prevention, education, treatment and ongoing care programs statewide.