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    psilocybin LSD antidepressant safety

    Psilocybin and LSD as Potential Rapid Acting Antidepressants


    Safety issues of psilocybin and LSD as potential rapid acting antidepressants and potential challenges

    Giordano Novak Rossi, Jaime E. C. Hallak, José Carlos Bouso Saiz, and Rafael G. dos Santos.

    Expert Opinion on Drug Safety



    About the study

    Psilocybin and LSD are being investigated as to treat mood disorders. While preliminary and nonconfirmatory research is promising, safety and tolerability associated with these drug’s administration needs further investigation.

    Most common adverse events associated with these drugs are headaches/migraines, nausea/vomiting, acute raises in cardiovascular variables, and emotional distress/psychological discomfort/anxiety.

    There is still concern with less common adverse events, such as dissociation, paranoia, and confusion, and bigger trials with larger samples are needed to confirm the therapeutic effects of psilocybin and LSD and ascertain the side effects continue within acceptable parameters.



    Introduction: A limited number of preliminary open-label (n = 3) and placebo-controlled clinical trials (n = 5) have suggested psilocybin and LSD as potential rapid antidepressants. In this context, there is a growing need to verify and document their safety and tolerability as therapeutic agents, discuss the challenges associated with their administration, and develop safety protocols for their use as next-generation therapeutic agents.

    Areas covered: We have analyzed all randomized, double-blind, and controlled trials that assessed the antidepressant effects of psilocybin and LSD in clinical populations to date, taking special attention to adverse events (AEs) related to their use. Prevalence, significance, and mechanisms of action related to AEs were systematically extracted, analyzed, and discussed.

    Expert opinion: There were no serious AEs related to psilocybin and LSD administration. Most AEs were expected, manageable, and transient. Nevertheless, safety and tolerability concerns regarding some effects, such as dissociation, paranoia, and confusion, remain. Thus, randomized controlled trials with bigger samples are warranted to confirm their therapeutic effects and further investigate their safety and tolerability.


    Link to the study


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    Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash.


    Categories: Studies & papers , Psychedelics
    Tags: quality of life , depression , antidepressant , scientific research , study , adverse effects , health , LSD , psilocybin , psychedelics