Women who take ecstasy get higher and more intense highs than men, but they also suffer a much harder comedown in the days after, says a new research.
The lead researcher of the study, Dr Kelly Allott, from the University of Melbourne, said that party pills hit women harder than men.
"What we've seen from all the evidence is that the highs are higher and more intense for women," News.com.au quoted Allott, as saying.
"And the low in the following days after taking the drug appears to be much lower. So they tend to experience the extremes of the drug experience," Allott added.
In the research, Allott reviewed 29 studies from Australia and abroad to collate the latest evidence on how the drug affects men and women differently.
The findings from three lab studies of ecstasy users overseas suggest that women respond more strongly, with more and stronger hallucinations and euphoric feelings, Allott said.
In the days after they have a lower mood then men, with biological studies suggesting females may also be hit harder by the longer-term negative effects of the drug.
Women were also more at risk of a potentially fatal ecstasy-related coma.
Men were more likely to die after taking the drug, but toxicology tests showed that was probably because of higher doses and the use of several drugs at once rather than the drug itself.
Allott said it was still unclear why women felt the effects differently, but there were a few theories under investigation.
"It's possible that (the female sex hormone) estrogen increases the sensitivity to the effects of drugs such as MDMA, which act on the serotonin system affecting mood.
There may also be gender differences in brain structure, or differences in how men and women metabolise the drug in the body," she added.
The research is published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews.