Study protocol of an open-label proof-of-concept trial examining the safety and clinical efficacy of psilocybin-assisted therapy for veterans with PTSD

BMJ Open. 2023 May 4;13(5):e068884. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-068884.


Introduction: Psilocybin-assisted therapy has shown significant promise in treating the cluster of mood and anxiety symptoms that comprise post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but has yet to be tested specifically in this condition. Furthermore, current pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments for PTSD are difficult to tolerate and limited in efficacy, especially in the US Military Veteran (USMV) population. This open-label pilot study will examine the safety and efficacy of two psilocybin administration sessions (15 mg and 25 mg), combined with psychotherapy, among USMVs with severe, treatment resistant PTSD.

Methods and analysis: We will recruit 15 USMVs with severe, treatment resistant PTSD. Participants will receive one low dose (15 mg) and one moderate/high dose (25 mg) of psilocybin in conjunction with preparatory and post-psilocybin therapy sessions. The primary safety outcome will be the type, severity and frequency of adverse events and suicidal ideation/behaviour, as measured by the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. The primary outcome measure for PTSD will be the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale-5. The primary endpoint will be 1 month following the second psilocybin administration session, and the total follow-up time will be 6 months.

Ethics and dissemination: All participants will be required to provide written informed consent. The trial has been authorised by the Ohio State University Institutional Review Board (study number: 2022H0280). Dissemination of results will occur via a peer-reviewed publication and other relevant media.

Trial registration number: NCT05554094.

Keywords: Adult psychiatry; CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY; Clinical trials; MENTAL HEALTH; PSYCHIATRY.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psilocybin / adverse effects
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans*


  • Psilocybin

Associated data