Navigation Links
Hallucinogen appears safe, may improve mood among patients with advanced-stage cancer and anxiety

A pilot study suggests the hallucinogen psilocybin may be feasible and safe to administer to patients with advanced-stage cancer and anxiety, with promising effects on mood, according to a report published online today that will appear in the January 2011 print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"In recent years, there has been a growing awareness that the psychological, spiritual and existential crises often encountered by patients with cancer and their families need to be addressed more vigorously," the authors write as background information in the article. "From the late 1950s to the early 1970s, research was carried out exploring the use of hallucinogens to treat the existential anxiety, despair and isolation often associated with advanced-stage cancer. Those studies described critically ill individuals undergoing psychospiritual epiphanies, often with powerful and sustained improvement in mood and anxiety as well as diminished need for narcotic pain medication."

Despite initial promising results, no follow-up research had been conducted; however, the medical value of hallucinogens is now being re-examined in psychiatric settings, the authors note. Charles S. Grob, M.D., of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Torrance, explored the safety and efficacy of psilocybina hallucinogen with some psychological effects similar to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)among 12 adults with advanced-stage cancer and anxiety.

Participants served as their own controls; in two six-hour treatment sessions several weeks apart, they were given clear capsules either of active psilocybin (in a dose of 0.2 milligrams per kilogram) or a placebo (niacin, 250 milligrams) in random order. Physiological responses such as blood pressure, heart rate and temperature were measured before and after, and psychological measures including assessments of depression, mood and anxiety were administered before and at the end of the session, one day and two weeks after the session and at monthly intervals for the following six months.

"Safe physiological and psychological responses were documented during treatment sessions," the authors write. "We also observed no adverse psychological effects from the treatment. All subjects tolerated the treatment sessions well, with no indication of severe anxiety or a 'bad trip.'" In addition, anxiety scores improved at one and three months after treatment and a depression inventory revealed an improvement of mood that began two weeks after treatment and reached significance at six months.

"This study established the feasibility and safety of administering moderate doses of psilocybin to patients with advanced-stage cancer and anxiety," the authors conclude. "Some of the data revealed a positive trend toward improved mood and anxiety. These results support the need for more research in this long-neglected field."


Contact: Laura Mecoy
JAMA and Archives Journals

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Panel Appears Skeptical Over Key Avandia Data
2. Plasma protein appears to be associated with development and severity of Alzheimers disease
3. Celebrex Appears Easier on Stomach for Arthritis Patients
4. NAMI Medical Director Honored with APA Patient Advocacy Award; Appears in CNN Health and Huffington Post Columns
5. Taking Flu Drugs While Pregnant Appears to Be Safe: Study
6. Hospitalization Appears to Help Personality Disorder Patients
7. How health care is paid for appears to impact outcome
8. Protein Appears Key to Intestinal Balance
9. Eggs Being Produced by Recall Farms Safe, if Pasteurized, Experts Say
10. Drug-eluting stents confirmed safe, effective for long-term use
11. Declare Your Skin-dependence this Holiday with Patriotic, Playful Products from TruKid, the Award-Winning Line of Safe, Natural Products for Children
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This ... the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, ... and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained ... Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... startling report released today, National Safety Council research shows ... plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a "Making ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... states, three – Michigan , Missouri ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... N.J. , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced ... Premier Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . ... year, Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier ... creation through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... to receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: