A new study published last week suggests that the psychedelic drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly, can reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and some expect the treatment to be approved d by 2024.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit research and education organization established in 1986 that focuses on medical, legal, and cultural contexts on how people can benefit from “prudent” use of psychedelics and marijuana, sponsored study.
“Thanks to the combined efforts of dozens of therapists, hundreds of volunteer participants in MAPS-sponsored trials, and several thousand generous donors, MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is on track to be reviewed for approval by the FDA in 2024.” said MAPS Founder and President Rick Doblin.
AUSTRALIA BECOMES FIRST COUNTRY TO ALLOW PATIENTS WITH DEPRESSION AND PTSD TO TAKE Psychedelics
The results of the third phase of the study were published in Nature Medicine on September 13, 2024.
During the study, researchers measured the symptoms and outcomes of 104 people with PTSD, who were randomly assigned MDMA or a placebo pill over three sessions, one month apart. Both groups, the study notes, received talk therapy during the process.
One person dropped out of the MDMA group during the study, and some of the side effects experienced in the MDMA group included nausea, sweating, muscle twitching, and decreased appetite.
PFIZER SNAGS MIGRAINE NASAL SPRAY FDA APPROVAL FOR SUMMER LAUNCH
A standard PTSD assessment measuring things like flashbacks, nightmares and insomnia found that 86% of patients in the MDMA group improved, compared to 69% in the placebo group.
After the study ended, 72% of people in the MDMA group no longer met the criteria to be diagnosed with PTSD, compared to 48% of people in the placebo group.
In July, Australia became the first country to allow psychiatrists to prescribe certain psychedelic substances to patients suffering from depression or PTSD.
MIGRAINES AGAINST. HEADACHES: HOW TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE AND WHEN TO ASK FOR HELP
Approval of the therapy means Australian doctors can now prescribe doses of MDMA, while psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, can now be given to people suffering from difficult-to-treat depression.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated psilocybin a “breakthrough therapy” in 2018, a label designed to expedite the development and review of drugs to treat serious illness. Psychedelic researchers have benefited from federal grants, including from Johns Hopkins, and the FDA late last month released draft guidelines for researchers designing clinical trials testing psychedelic drugs as potential treatments for various medical conditions.
Yet the American Psychiatric Association has not approved the use of psychedelics in treatment.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Medical experts in the United States and elsewhere, including Australia, have warned that more research is needed into the effectiveness of these drugs and the extent of the risks associated with psychedelics, which can cause hallucinations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.