5 Dangerous And Illegal Drugs That Doctors Once Prescribed As Miracle Cures

Published September 30, 2017
Updated September 24, 2018

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy Pills Mdma

Universal History Archive/ Contributor/Getty Images

The popular party drug, commonly known as ecstasy or molly, was actually originally intendedas a diet pill. Not hard to believe, considering that its side effects include excessive vomiting or diarrhea.

The original creator, German pharmaceutical company Merck, eventually gave up on their patent. However, the drug continued to be researched by other companies. Alexander Shulgin, a chemist for the Dow Chemical Company, even devoted his time and resources to researching its therapeutic qualities and was the first reported human to consume ecstasy.

Known as the “father of ecstasy,” Shulgin would distribute pure MDMA to his wife and their friends, and record the results. He argued that the drug could be useful in the treatment of veterans with PTSD, an idea that has recently seen a resurgence.

Katie Serena
A former staff writer at All That's Interesting, Katie Serena has also published work in Salon.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Serena, Katie. "5 Dangerous And Illegal Drugs That Doctors Once Prescribed As Miracle Cures." AllThatsInteresting.com, September 30, 2017, https://allthatsinteresting.com/illegal-drugs-that-were-legitimate. Accessed June 22, 2024.