Psilocybin for Depression: From Credibility to Feasibility, What's Missing?

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022 Dec 31;16(1):68. doi: 10.3390/ph16010068.


Psilocybin has been suggested as a promising transdiagnostic treatment strategy for a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Recent findings showed that psychedelic-assisted/"psycholitic" psychotherapy should provide significant and sustained alleviation of depressive symptoms. However, to date, there have been several study limitations (e.g., small sample sizes, blinding, limited follow-up, highly screened treatment populations) and some health/political issues, including practitioners' experience, lack of standardized protocols, psychedelics' legal status, ethical concerns, and potential psychological/psychopathological/medical untoward effects. The focus here is on a range of clinical and methodological issues, also aiming at outlining some possible suggestions. We are confident that newer evidence, more precise protocols, and eventual reclassification policies may allow a better understanding of the real potential of psilocybin as a transdiagnostic therapeutic molecule.

Keywords: clinical trials; depression; ethical concerns; methodological issues; psilocybin.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.