Study Finds “Psilocybin Has Both Short-Term and Long-Term Antidepressant Effects”

Psilocybin has “both short-term and long-term antidepressant effects and holds promise as a potential complementary or alternative therapy for depression”, according to a new study.

Dried psilocybin mushrooms.

The study was published in the recent issue of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, as well as published online by the US National Library of Medicine. It was conducted by researchers at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. The full text fo the study can be found by clicking here.

“Psilocybin is a classic psychedelics, which has been shown to have antidepressant effects by many studies in recent years”, states the study’s abstract. “In this study, we aim to evaluate the efficacy, acceptability and tolerability of psilocybin in the treatment of primary (major depressive disorder) or secondary (experiencing distress related to life-threatening diagnoses and terminal illness) depression.”

For the study researchers “searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and ClinicalTrials.gov for clinical trials of psilocybin for depression (updated to 4 October, 2023). Effect size Hedges’ g was used as an indicator of efficacy, and other outcomes included response rate, drop-out rate, and adverse events.”

A total of 10 studies were included in systematic review. Eight studies were included in the meta-analysis, involving a total of 524 adult patients.

“The therapeutic effects of psilocybin increase with increasing doses”, found researchers. “Adverse events caused by psilocybin are generally transient and reversible, but serious adverse events also may occur.”

Researchers claim that the study “shows that psilocybin has both short-term and long-term antidepressant effects and holds promise as a potential complementary or alternative therapy for depression, probably.”

The study concludes by noting that “Further research may reveal more about its therapeutic potential.”

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