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Lancet Psychiatry. 2016 May;3(5):481-8. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00576-3. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Novel psychopharmacological therapies for psychiatric disorders: psilocybin and MDMA.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA. Electronic address: mmithoefer@mac.com.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center/Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute, Torrance, CA, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

Abstract

4-phosphorloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (psilocybin) and methylenedioxymethamfetamine (MDMA), best known for their illegal use as psychedelic drugs, are showing promise as therapeutics in a resurgence of clinical research during the past 10 years. Psilocybin is being tested for alcoholism, smoking cessation, and in patients with advanced cancer with anxiety. MDMA is showing encouraging results as a treatment for refractory post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety in autistic adults, and anxiety associated with a life-threatening illness. Both drugs are studied as adjuncts or catalysts to psychotherapy, rather than as stand-alone drug treatments. This model of drug-assisted psychotherapy is a possible alternative to existing pharmacological and psychological treatments in psychiatry. Further research is needed to fully assess the potential of these compounds in the management of these common disorders that are difficult to treat with existing methods.

PMID:
27067625
DOI:
10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00576-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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