If you have ever struggled with depression, then you know how difficult it is to find the right medication and the right dosage. People often spend months trying to find the right combination that works for them because no two people are the same, and doctors need to adjust.
Well, there might be some pretty good news on that front coming soon in the form of an unexpected source.
The FDA has given the hallucinogenic compound psilocybin a “Breakthrough Therapy” designation for the second time in just over a year. Psilocybin is the compound that gives “magic mushrooms” their hallucinogenic powers.
The Breakthrough Therapy designation is meant to expedite drugs for development and review by the FDA. Furthermore, the designation is only given to drugs and therapies that have been shown to be effective in treating medical conditions in the preliminary phases.
Last year the FDA granted a Breakthrough Therapy designation to a company called Compass Pathways for using psilocybin to help with treatment-resistant depression. This type of depression has been shown to not improve with two or more traditional therapies. Also, earlier this year, the FDA approved a nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression that is intended to mimic the positive effects of the hallucinogenic drug ketamine. Remarkably, his was the first new antidepressant approved by the FDA in decades.
The difference with the new Breakthrough Therapy designated drug is that this time it is focused on major depressive disorder, which affects at least 17 million adults in America. The new research will go through the Usona Institute in Madison, Wisconsin, where trials will study how depressed patients do after being treated with one dose of psilocybin.
Most likely, it will be several years before any products related to this study would potentially hit the market.
Still, this is good news for the millions of people out there struggling with depression.
Are hallucinogens the wave of the future? Seems like the 60s all over again…
What do you think about potentially using hallucinogenic drugs to treat cases of depression? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.