What are psychedelics for PTSD?

High rates of treatment refractory PTSD has spurred a search for novel treatment approaches. One therapeutic candidate is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), which is an illicit psychedelic drug known for its widespread recreational use. By combining purified MDMA, rather than illicit “ecstasy” obtained from a non-medical setting, with psychotherapy, it facilitates therapeutic techniques. These include revisiting traumatic experiences with an appropriate level of emotional engagement. Through targeting multiple neurotransmitter systems, MDMA may offer pharmacologic advantages to SSRIs, which are restricted to a single neurotransmitter domain (serotonin).

What is the evidence on psychedelics for PTSD?

Moderate to low quality evidence found large improvements in PTSD symptoms, response, and remission with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (supportive therapy) compared to placebo or low-dose MDMA (25-40mg). MDMA treatment dose ranged across studies, from 50mg to 125mg) over 1-3 sessions.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 3:47 am, 15th October 2021
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