MindMed and Liechti Lab publish first human data on the interacting effects of an SSRI and psilocybin
Mind Medicine/MindMed (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED), a leading biotech company developing psychedelic-inspired therapies, is pleased to announce the publication of the first data on the interaction of the selective serotonin uptake inhibitor (SSRI) escitalopram with the acute response to psilocybin in humans. The publication resulted from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pharmacology study in healthy volunteers conducted by the University Hospital Basel Liechti Lab and sponsored by MindMed.
The study found that escitalopram pre-treatment had no relevant impact on positive mood effects of psilocybin but significantly reduced negative effects like anxiety and adverse cardiovascular reactions, compared with placebo pre-treatment in the study’s healthy volunteers. Escitalopram did not alter the pharmacokinetics of psilocin. Escitalopram did not alter QTc intervals or circulating BDNF levels before or after psilocybin administration. The study was published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The full-text can be accessed here: https://ascpt.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cpt.2487
Two key questions arise around the use of psilocybin in patients undergoing antidepressant treatment. First, for safety reasons, should a patient stop using antidepressants before receiving psilocybin? Second, if there is no safety risk, will the antidepressant reduce the patient’s response to psilocybin? These results indicate that psilocybin may be dosed during escitalopram treatment without apparent impact on the effect of psilocybin. Thus, the study answers the first question and provides a positive indication for the second.Prof. Matthias Liechti, the principal investigator of the study
The study results highlight important areas for future research. Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, Executive President of MindMed, added: “If the results are confirmed in subsequent studies, with other substances and in patients rather than healthy individuals, antidepressants may no longer need to be stopped for psilocybin treatment. Further studies are needed with a longer antidepressant pre-treatment time and patients with psychiatric disorders to further define interactions between antidepressants and psilocybin or other psychedelics.”
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