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    serotonergic psychedelics hallucinogens efficacy safety ICEERS study

    Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Serotonergic Psychedelics


    Efficacy, tolerability, and safety of serotonergic psychedelics for the management of mood, anxiety, and substance-use disorders: a systematic review of systematic reviews

    Rafael G. dos Santos, Jos茅 Carlos Bouso, Miguel 脕ngel Alc谩zar-C贸rcoles, and Jaime E. C. Hallak.

    Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology



    About the study

    This study summarizes the most compelling evidence from clinical research with serotonergic psychedelics, performing a systematic review of systematic reviews where efficacy, tolerability, and safety have been assessed regarding the management of mood, anxiety, and substance-use disorders.

    Most of the included studies consist of descriptive systematic reviews which suggest that administration of single doses of serotonergic hallucinogens/psychedelics to both healthy volunteers and patients is safe and is associated with antidepressive and anxiolytic effects.

    Contrary to traditional anxiolytic, antidepressive, and antiaddictive drugs, serotonergic hallucinogens/psychedelics do not need to be taken daily and are usually administered in single or few doses, and their therapeutic effects are achieved from hours to days and are sustained for several weeks or months.



    Introduction: Mood, anxiety, and substance-use disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in the population. Although several pharmacological treatments are available, they are not effective for a significant proportion of patients and are associated with several adverse reactions. Therefore, new treatments should be explored. Recent studies suggest that serotonergic hallucinogens/psychedelics including ayahuasca, psilocybin, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) have anxiolytic, antidepressive, and antiaddictive effects.

    Areas Covered: A systematic review of systematic reviews assessing the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of serotonergic hallucinogens/psychedelics was performed using the PubMed data base until 11 April 2018. Systematic reviews with or without meta-analysis were analyzed, but only reviews that described at least one randomized controlled trial (RCT) were included.

    Expert Commentary: Psilocybin and LSD reduced anxiety and depression in cancer patients and symptoms of alcohol and tobacco dependence, and ayahuasca reduced depression symptoms in treatment-resistant depression. Although the results are promising, several studies were open label, and only few were RCTs, and most had small sample sizes and a short duration. Single or few doses of these drugs seem to be well tolerated, but long-term studies are lacking. New RCTs with bigger samples and longer duration are needed to replicate these findings.

    Link to the article


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    Photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash.

    Categories: Studies & papers , Psychedelics
    Tags: ayahuasca , scientific research , study , DMT , LSD , psilocybin , substance use disorders , mood disorders , 5-HT2A receptor , anxiety disorders