Can Psilocybin Be As Effective As Lexapro In Treating Depression?




In the first study of its kind, a phase 2 double-blind study recently compared the efficacy of psilocybin mushrooms with that of the commonly prescribed SSRI Escitalopram (aka Lexapro) in the treatment of complex depression. The results of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that psilocybin appears to be as effective or perhaps even more effective than Lexapro in alleviating symptoms of depression.


"The six-week study involved 59 adults, 40 percent of whom had been taking depression medication but weaned off of the drugs in order to participate in the study. Thirty of the participants received two 25mg doses of psilocybin three weeks apart, as well as six weeks of a daily placebo pill.


The remaining 29 were also given a sub-hallucinogenic microdose of psilocybin during two visits and a daily dose of escitalopram, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Lexapro. All psilocybin doses were given in a clinician’s office and participants were monitored while under the influence of the medicine.


At the end of the six-week study, researchers used four measures to determine whether participants’ symptoms had improved. One of the measures showed psilocybin to be just as effective at treating depression symptoms as escitalopram. The other three showed psilocybin to be superior at treating symptoms."


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