Psychoactive Ingredient in Psychedelic Mushrooms May Soon Become FDA-Approved Treatment for Depression
Magic mushrooms may soon become a bonafide FDA-approved treatment for depression. Proponents advocating for the use of psilocybin mushrooms as a therapeutic treatment for depression and a variety of other conditions are one step closer to the substance being recognized as a legal and legitimate regiment.
COMPASS Pathways, a life science company dedicated to bringing cutting-edge treatments to those suffering from mental issues announced they have received the coveted ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its psilocybin therapy.
Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms have long been used a mind-altering recreational drug for decades. Many users can attest to the positive and eye-opening experiences while under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms, which has been backed up by years of research into the drugs potential mental health benefits. Psychedelic mushrooms, along with other psychedelic drugs, fall under the Schedule I category signifying them as illegal with no medical use. Despite this, opioids as painkillers are under Schedule II, making them recognized as being medically useful, even though they caused more than 72,000 deaths in 2017 alone.
Thankfully, small studies delving into the benefits of smaller doses of the drug, have opened up doors to allow for wider acceptance of a drug that was previously under intense scrutiny and surrounded by stigma. With the FDA recognizing the potential of this drug, it could lead to further research and eventual rescheduling.
Researchers have shown that psilocybin can have a profound effect on treating depression in patients that have not responded to prior treatment. COMPASS is gearing up to begin funding its first large-scale trial of psilocybin next year, spanning North America and Europe. According to the company, the medication will be in powder form synthesized in a lab.
George Goldsmith, Executive Chairman, COMPASS Pathways, said, “This is great news for patients. We are excited to be taking this work forward with our clinical trial on psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression. The FDA will be working closely with us to expedite the development process and increase the chances of getting this treatment to people suffering with depression as quickly as possible.”