From Medscape Special Reports

Special Report: Psychedelic Medicine

December 13, 2013

Psychedelic Medicine: Worth the Trip?
A look at the renewed interest in hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ibogaine as potential psychiatric therapies.

Psychedelic Drugs No Risk to Mental Health, Possibly Beneficial
A large population-based study suggests there's no increased risk for mental illness linked to the use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs, but rather hints at a potential protective effect.

Ketamine's Efficacy Validated in Depression
Ketamine's rapid antidepressant effects support NMDA receptor modulation as a novel mechanism in severe depression that could lead to the development of a new class of antidepressant medications.

Psychedelic Drug May Have a Role in Psychotherapy
Memories are more vivid with the psychedelic drug psilocybin, a finding that has potential implications for treatment of depression and other psychiatric conditions, researchers say.

Ecstasy-Assisted Psychotherapy Effective for PTSD?
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy provides enduring and clinically meaningful benefits in patients with treatment-resistant PTSD symptoms, a long-term follow-up study shows.

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Editor's Note

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline were used experimentally for decades in psychiatry and other areas of medicine, until the counterculture's embrace of the agents in the 1960s led to their criminalization. With clinicians in need of more effective psychiatric therapies, hallucinogens are once again being explored for therapeutic value.
-- Bret S. Stetka, MD, Editorial Director, Medscape Psychiatry