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First clinical trial for MDMA and LSD combination set to go ahead

Published on 28/08/20 at 01:16pm

Researchers are set to investigate a combined dose of LSD and MDMA to treat patients undergoing psychotherapy.

The Phase 1 trial will be conducted by MindMed later this year and will be the first to investigate what happens when you mix the two drugs to work as a therapy.

The study will assess 24 subjects who will undergo four different experimental sessions which will see the patients either being dosed with 100 micrograms of LSD mixed with a placebo, 100 milligrams of MDMA with a placebo, 100 micrograms of LSD mixed with 100 milligrams of MDMA, or two placebos.

The researchers will assess how each combination affects a participant’s blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.

Dr Matthias Liechti, a Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Basel and head of the research lab that will be working on the study, said: “The potential of MDMA-LSD is to create a psychological state that may have the benefits of both substances and have longer lasting effects than standalone psilocybin or LSD. Inducing an overall primarily positive acute response during psychedelic assisted therapy is critical because several studies showed that a more positive acute experience is linked to a greater therapeutic long-term effect in patients.”

In a previous report, Dr Liechti observed that MDMA and LSD as a combination increased feelings of trust while impairing fear and sadness, and this is why the team think it will be a useful therapy to be utilised in substance-assisted psychotherapy.

In a study published in Neuropsychopharmacology in November 2019, researchers found that LSD produced more pronounced effects than MDMA, but patients experienced side effects of introversion and anxiety. The MindMed study believes that combining the two could offset some of the negative effects of LSD. 

Conor Kavanagh

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