Study compares psilocybin with escitalopram for the treatment of depression

While prior studies exploring the purported antidepressant properties of psilocybin yielded promising results, its comparison to conventional treatments for depression has yet to be established.

In a study publicized in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers recruited 59 participants to test psilocybin and escitalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant for a span of six weeks.

For the study, the participants received two separate doses of 25 mg of psilocybin, while the control group received escitalopram.

“The primary outcome was the change from baseline in the score on the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology–Self-Report (QIDS-SR-16; scores range from 0 to 27, with higher scores indicating greater depression) at week 6,” according to researchers.

“There were 16 secondary outcomes, including QIDS-SR-16 response and QIDS-SR-16 remission at week 6.”

The findings showed no significant differences in antidepressant effects between the psychedelic psilocybin and the antidepressant escitalopram.

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