Antidepressive, anxiolytic, and antiaddictive effects of ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): a systematic review of clinical trials published in the last 25 years

  title={Antidepressive, anxiolytic, and antiaddictive effects of ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): a systematic review of clinical trials published in the last 25 years},
  author={Rafael Guimar{\~a}es dos Santos and Fl{\'a}via de Lima Os{\'o}rio and Jos{\'e} Alexandre S. Crippa and Jordi Riba and Antonio Waldo Zuardi and Jaime E.C. Hallak},
  journal={Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology},
  pages={193 - 213}
To date, pharmacological treatments for mood and anxiety disorders and for drug dependence show limited efficacy, leaving a large number of patients suffering severe and persistent symptoms. Preliminary studies in animals and humans suggest that ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) may have antidepressive, anxiolytic, and antiaddictive properties. Thus, we conducted a systematic review of clinical trials published from 1990 until 2015, assessing these therapeutic… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Efficacy, tolerability, and safety of serotonergic psychedelics for the management of mood, anxiety, and substance-use disorders: a systematic review of systematic reviews

Results are promising, several studies were open label, and only few were RCTs, and most had small sample sizes and a short duration, but long-term studies are lacking.

The antiaddictive effects of ibogaine: A systematic literature review of human studies

Case series suggest that a single dose or a few treatments with ibogaine may significantly reduce drug withdrawal, craving, and self-administration in dependent individuals lasting from 24 h to weeks or months.

Editorial: Hallucinogens and Entactogens: Establishing a New Class of Psychotherapeutic Drugs?

Three articles rise the fundamental question of mechanism behind therapeutic effects of hallucinogenic and entactogenic substances, which patients might benefit from these treatments and which might not, how therapeutic effects can be promoted and risks further minimized.

Molecular Mechanisms of Psilocybin and Implications for the Treatment of Depression

The aim of this review is to synthesize the current understanding of the receptor pharmacology and neuronal mechanisms underlying the psychedelic and putative antidepressant properties of psilocybin.

The therapeutic potential of microdosing psychedelics in depression

  • K. Kuypers
  • Psychology
    Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology
  • 2020
While it is yet unclear whether psychedelic microdosing is of therapeutic value for depression, the aforementioned effects on selective processes suggest that low doses of psychedelics could play a role in depression by inducing some kind of cognitive flexibility, which might lead to decreased rumination.

Ayahuasca - potential therapeutic properties in psychiatry. Research review.

The complex profile of action and the resulting potential benefits, but also the risk of interaction and adverse effects associated with the taking of ayahuasca are explained, which is important given the high variability of herbal mixtures used to produce the decoction.

Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: Treating Depression and Anxiety with Mushrooms

Psilocybin represents a promising field of research that warrants more robust studies in order to gain societal approval and establish a role in treating common psychiatric diagnoses.

Microdosing Psychedelics as a Promising New Pharmacotherapeutic

  • K. Kuypers
  • Psychology, Biology
    Modern CNS Drug Discovery
  • 2021
This chapter aims to answer, based on the scientific knowledge the authors have so far, whether microdosing psychedelics has therapeutic potential, and reviewed studies demonstrated that low doses were in general well tolerated.



Antidepressive and anxiolytic effects of ayahuasca: a systematic literature review of animal and human studies

Considering the need for new drugs that produce fewer adverse effects and are more effective in reducing anxiety and depression symptomatology, the described effects of ayahuasca and its alkaloids should be further investigated.

Antidepressant Effects of a Single Dose of Ayahuasca in Patients With Recurrent Depression: A SPECT Study

The results suggest that ayahuasca may have fast-acting and sustained antidepressive properties and should be replicated in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Antidepressant effects of a single dose of ayahuasca in patients with recurrent depression: a preliminary report.

OBJECTIVES Ayahuasca (AYA), a natural psychedelic brew prepared from Amazonian plants and rich in dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and harmine, causes effects of subjective well-being and may therefore have

Psychedelics as medicines for substance abuse rehabilitation: evaluating treatments with LSD, Peyote, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca.

Studies evaluating the use of LSD, peyote, ibogaine and ayahuasca in the treatment of dependencies and the possible mechanisms underlying the indications of effectiveness suggest that these substances help assist recovery from drug dependency through a variety of therapeutic mechanisms.

Acute, subacute and long-term subjective effects of psilocybin in healthy humans: a pooled analysis of experimental studies

The results suggest that the administration of moderate doses of psilocybin to healthy, high-functioning and well-prepared subjects in the context of a carefully monitored research environment is associated with an acceptable level of risk.

Single treatments that have lasting effects: some thoughts on the antidepressant effects of ketamine and botulinum toxin and the anxiolytic effect of psilocybin.

  • S. Young
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN
  • 2013
Three single biological treatments have effects that persist in healthy people, their rationale, their possible mechanisms of action, the future clinical research required to establish these therapies and the basic research needed to optimize single treatments that have lasting effects are discussed.

Recent advances in the neuropsychopharmacology of serotonergic hallucinogens

Autonomic, Neuroendocrine, and Immunological Effects of Ayahuasca: A Comparative Study With d-Amphetamine

In conclusion, ayahuasca displayed moderate sympathomimetic effects, significant neuroendocrine stimulation, and a time-dependent modulatory effect on cell-mediated immunity.

Safety, tolerability, and efficacy of psilocybin in 9 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In a controlled clinical environment, psilocybin was safely used in subjects with OCD and was associated with acute reductions in core OCD symptoms in several subjects.

Developments in harmine pharmacology — Implications for ayahuasca use and drug-dependence treatment