Adverse consequences of lysergic acid diethylamide

Addiction. 1993 Oct;88(10):1327-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1993.tb02018.x.


The continued endemic use of hallucinogenic drugs, and of LSD in particular, raises concern regarding their short and long term adverse consequences. The epidemiology of LSD abuse is reviewed suggesting an increase in LSD use among the young as the prevalence rates for other substances continues to fall. Evidence supports the association of LSD use with panic reactions, prolonged schizoaffective psychoses and post-hallucinogen perceptual disorder, the latter being present continually for as long as 5 years. Evidence does not support claims of genetic disorders arising from hallucinogens. In light of the foregoing, current data confirm earlier findings of long lasting psychopathology arising in vulnerable individuals from the use of LSD. A hypothetical long term molecular mechanism of adverse effects is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hallucinogens / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / pharmacology
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perceptual Disorders / etiology
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / psychology*
  • Receptors, Serotonin / drug effects
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*


  • Hallucinogens
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide