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Pain Manag. 2018 May;8(3):217-229. doi: 10.2217/pmt-2017-0068. Epub 2018 May 3.

Lysergic acid diethylamide and psilocybin for the management of patients with persistent pain: a potential role?

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Leeds Pain and Interventional Neuromodulation Service, Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, LS1 3EX2, UK.
Centre for Pain Research, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, LS1 3HE, UK.


Recently, there has been interest in lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin for depression, anxiety and fear of death in terminal illness. The aim of this review is to discuss the potential use of LSD and psilocybin for patients with persistent pain. LSD and psilocybin are 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonists and may interact with nociceptive and antinociceptive processing. Tentative evidence from a systematic review suggests that LSD (7 studies, 323 participants) and psilocybin (3 studies, 92 participants) may be beneficial for depression and anxiety associated with distress in life-threatening diseases. LSD and psilocybin are generally safe if administered by a healthcare professional, although further investigations are needed to assess their utility for patients with persistent pain, especially associated with terminal illness.


LSD; analgesia; end-of-life care; lysergic acid diethylamide; pain; psilocin; psilocybin

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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