How MDMA and magic mushrooms could be used to treat mental illness – as Australian health chiefs consider approving the drugs
MDMA and magic mushrooms may help treat mental illness, Australia’s medicines regulator says ahead of its final decision on whether to recognise the drugs.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration looked at studies on PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety in adults with autism, and anxiety or depression in the context of life-threatening disease.
‘We conclude that MDMA and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) may show promise in highly selected populations but only where these medicines are administered in closely clinically supervised settings and with intensive professional support,’ the TGA said on Thursday.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration looked at studies on mental illness, and studies with MDMA found statistically significant improvements for adults with autism and social anxiety
It examined studies with MDMA that found statistically significant improvements in adults who had autism and social anxiety.
Results for people who had anxiety in the context of life-threatening disease were not significant given low participant numbers.
Studies seeing whether psilocybin was effective in treating OCD symptoms found no significant effect, possibly because of low numbers and a high response to the placebo.
Psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms (pictured), was found to be as effective as the antidepressant escitalopram for people with anxiety or depression
For people with depression or anxiety, psilocybin was as effective as the antidepressant escitalopram.
In February, the TGA handed down an interim decision against recognising the drugs to treat mental illness.
It deferred a final decision pending the review on the drugs’ therapeutic value, risks and benefits.
The report will be considered by the Advisory Committee of Medicines Scheduling on November 3 ahead of a final decision due in early December.
The report by the TGA will be considered by the Advisory Committee of Medicines Scheduling on November 3 ahead of the final decision on whether to recognise the drugs due in December