Psilocybin Can Pull Cancer Patients Quickly Out of Despair

Share this content:
Psilocybin Can Pull Cancer Patients Quickly Out of Despair
Psilocybin Can Pull Cancer Patients Quickly Out of Despair

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of psilocybin can quickly lifts the spirits of cancer patients, and the effect can last as long as six months, according to two studies published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

In one study, researchers led by Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, treated 51 adults with life-threatening cancer with a low dose of psilocybin followed five weeks later with a higher dose of the drug. Most patients experienced relief from their anxiety and depression that lasted up to six months, the researchers found.

In the second study, a team led by Stephen Ross, M.D., of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, randomly assigned 29 patients with advanced cancer to either a single dose of psilocybin or the vitamin niacin. Among 80 percent of the patients, psilocybin rapidly brought relief from distress. Moreover, the effect lasted for more than six months, based on test scores for anxiety and depression, the researchers found.

"Our results represent the strongest evidence to date of a clinical benefit from psilocybin therapy, with the potential to transform care for patients with cancer-related psychological distress," Ross said in a Langone news release. "If larger clinical trials prove successful, then we could ultimately have available a safe, effective, and inexpensive medication dispensed under strict control to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients."

Full Text - Griffiths
Full Text - Ross
Editorial

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

RSNA: Sleep Deprivation Appears to Affect Heart Function

RSNA: Sleep Deprivation Appears to Affect Heart Function

Small study finds lack of sleep affects blood pressure, heart rate in healthy volunteers

Three Low-Carb Meals a Day Can Lower Insulin Resistance

Three Low-Carb Meals a Day Can Lower Insulin ...

However, pre-meal exercising not helpful in reducing evening blood glucose levels

Augmented Reality, Gaming May Help Relieve Phantom Limb Pain

Augmented Reality, Gaming May Help Relieve Phantom Limb ...

Study finds exercising virtual limb can cut pain by as much as half

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »