An Australian alternative drug company has obtained ethics approval to begin a clinical trial in Western Australia using psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to treat depression. The trial will involve around 60 participants and will be conducted at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth. UWA Professor Sean Hood is the principal investigator of the trial, and each participant will receive two doses of 25 milligrams of the drug a month apart, followed by a comprehensive psychotherapy regime.
This trial, set to begin in mid-2023, is the first in Australia to utilize legally grown, pharmaceutical-grade psilocybin.
The use of psychedelic treatments such as psilocybin may be a final option for individuals with treatment-resistant mental illnesses.
In early February, MDMA and psilocybin was approved by TGA for medical use in Australia.
Within six months after approval, individuals with severe mental health issues will be able to receive prescriptions for the psychedelics MDMA and psilocybin. The Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the change after calls to reclassify the drugs, however, only authorized psychiatrists can prescribe them.
MDMA, commonly referred to as ecstasy or Molly, is a type of psychoactive substance that functions as a stimulant. It works by releasing certain chemicals in the brain, which leads to an increase in energy levels, heightened senses, and heightened emotions such as self-awareness and empathy.
Experts are exploring the potential benefits of MDMA through various trials. The goal is to find effective ways to conduct an MDMA-assisted therapy, particularly for patients suffering from PTSD.