Mapping Psilocybin-Assisted Therapies: A Scoping Review

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Ron Joseph ShoreC. Goldie


We conducted a scoping review on psilocybin-assisted therapy for addiction, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring tryptophan derivative found in species of mushroom with psycho-active properties. From 2022 records identified by database searching, 40 publications were included in the qualitative synthesis from which we identified 9 clinical trials with a total of 169 participants. Trials used a peak-psychedelic model of therapy, emphasizing inward journey through the use of eyeshades, set musical scores and with medium to high doses of psilocybin. No serious adverse effects were reported; mild adverse effects included transient anxiety, nausea and post-treatment headaches. Overall, the 9 trials all demonstrated safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy in the treatments of obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance use disorder, treatment-resistant unipolar depression, anxiety or depression in patients with life-threatening cancer and demoralization among long-term AIDS survivors.The literature was found to be early and exploratory, with several limitations: only 5 were randomized controlled trials, small and homogenous patient sample size, difficulties in blinding, and th...Continue Reading

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