Psychedelic In Magic Mushrooms ‘As Effective As Common Antidepressant’

The psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms” may be as effective in fighting depression as leading antidepressant drugs or even more so, according to a new UK study into psilocybin and mental health treatment.

In the first direct comparison of its kind, British scientists weighed the effects of the naturally occurring psychedelic with escitalopram, a drug commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

Not only did the researchers find the psychoactive ingredient had promise as a potential mental health treatment, their findings also showed psilocybin could be twice as effective in helping patients out of severe depression as the antidepressant.

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Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of the centre for psychedelic research at Imperial College London, told The Guardian: “I think it is fair to say that the results signal hope that we may be looking at a promising alternative treatment for depression.”

He said that while Escitalopram helps reduce stress levels, the psychedelic is more about a release of thoughts that when guided with psychotherapy produce positive outcomes.

He added the findings “offer the most compelling evidence yet to support efforts towards licensing psilocybin therapy as a regulated mental health intervention.” Read the full story here.