Psilocybin LSD survey

download: 'file:clusterheadachesresponsivetopsilocybin-halpernssewellpo/ClusterheadachesResponsiveToPsilocybin_HalpernSSewellPope.pdf'
url: ''
noticetext: 'Abstract—The authors interviewed 53 cluster headache patients who had used psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat their condition. Twenty-two of 26 psilocybin users reported that psilocybin aborted attacks; 25 of 48 psilocybin users and 7 of 8 LSD users reported cluster period termination;18 of 19 psilocybin users and 4 of 5 LSD users reported remission period extension. Research on the effects of psilocybin and LSD on cluster headache may be warranted.'
excerpt: "Cluster headache, often considered the most painful\nof all types of headache,\n1\naffects predominantly men\n(0.4% vs 0.08% of women) and typically begins after\nage 20 years. The disorder is categorized as either\nepisodic, occurring for 1-week to 1-year periods, interspersed with pain-free remission periods, or\nchronic, in which the headaches occur constantly for\nmore than a year with no remission longer than 1\nmonth.\n2\nTen percent of episodic cluster headaches\nultimately evolve into the chronic form, and these\nare termed secondary chronic. In standard descriptions of cluster headache, an attack refers to the\nactual paroxysm of pain, a cluster period refers to a\nperiod of time when attacks occur regularly, and a\nremission period refers to a prolonged attack-free interval.\n3\nOxygen and sumatriptan are the mainstays\nof acute abortive treatment, whereas verapamil, lithium, corticosteroids, and other neuromodulators can\nsuppress attacks during cluster periods. No medications are known to terminate cluster periods or extend remission periods. The effects of the ergot\nalkaloid derivative lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)\nand the related indolalkylamine psilocybin on cluster\nheadache have not previously been described and\nmay include such properties.\nCase series. We were contacted by a 34-year-old man, diagnosed with episodic cluster headache at age 16 years, who reported a complete remission of his cluster periods when he\nrepeatedly used LSD on a recreational basis between ages 22 and\n24 years. Cluster periods resumed once he stopped. Based on this\nexperience, he attempted to treat his cluster headache by ingesting psilocybin-containing mushrooms every 3 months and again\nachieved lasting remission. On three occasions when he missed\nhis scheduled dose, a cluster period reoccurred.\nIntrigued by this history, we located—through cluster headache support groups and an Internet-based survey—several hundred people with cluster headache who reported use of psilocybincontaining mushrooms or LSD specifically to treat their disorder,\nand we administered a standardized questionnaire (available from\nthe authors). The consent form and study were approved by the\nMcLean Hospital institutional review board. We restricted our\nanalysis to the 53 individuals who 1) agreed to be contacted for\nevaluation by telephone or e-mail and 2) met International Classification of Headache Disorders-2 criteria for cluster headache and\nallowed us to obtain copies of medical records documenting a\ndiagnosis of cluster headache by an MD or DO. If the medical\nrecords did not support the diagnosis, the subject was excluded\nfrom further analysis. The final sample included subjects from\nacross the United States as well as Great Britain, The Netherlands, and South Africa. We found no significant differences between men and women on demographic indices or headache\nfeatures (table 1). Notably, 31 (58%) of the 53 individuals reported\nthat they had never used psilocybin or LSD except to treat their\ncluster headache, and a further 13 (25%) had used these drugs for\nrecreational purposes only in the remote past during adolescence.\nResults are summarized in table 2 and listed in complete form\nin table E-1 (on the Neurology Web site at www.neurology.org). Of\nthe 32 subjects with episodic cluster headache, 19 had used sublingual psilocybin during cluster attacks; 17 found psilocybin to be\neffective in aborting attacks (defined as ending the attack within\n20 minutes). Only one subject had used sublingual LSD for an\nacute attack, reporting it to be effective. Twenty-nine subjects had\nused psilocybin prophylactically during a cluster period; 15 (52%)\nreported that it was effective (defined as causing total cessation of\nattacks), and a further 12 (41%) reported partial efficacy (defined\nas attacks decreasing in intensity or frequency but not ceasing).\nFive of six LSD users reported cluster period termination. Twenty\nsubjects ingested psilocybin during a remission period; 19 reported an extension of their remission period, in that their next\nexpected cluster period was delayed or prevented entirely. Four of\nfive subjects reported similar remission extension with LSD.\nOf the 21 subjects with chronic cluster headache, 5 of 7 reported that psilocybin aborted a cluster attack; 10 of 20 reported\nthat psilocybin induced a complete termination of cluster attacks;\nand a further 8 reported partial efficacy. Of two chronic cluster\nheadache patients who ingested LSD, both at subhallucinogenic\ndoses, one reported no attacks for 10 days, and the other reported\nnone for 2 months. Interestingly, 22 (42%) of the 53 subjects\nreported partial or complete efficacy (as defined above) from subhallucinogenic doses of psilocybin or LSD.\nDiscussion. Our results are interesting for three\nreasons. First, no other medication, to our knowledge, has been reported to terminate a cluster period. Second, unlike other ergot-based medications,\nwhich must be taken daily, a single dose of LSD was\ndescribed as sufficient to induce remission of a clus"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License