A study by biotech company Small Pharma Inc. has highlighted the promising effects of combining psychedelic-assisted therapies with conventional antidepressants, known as SSRIs, for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
In the study, patients given SPL026 (a formulation of the psychedelic compound DMT) alongside their regular dose of SSRIs showed marked improvements compared to those who did not take SSRIs.
Impressively, by the fourth week, every patient in this group responded positively to the treatment, with 92% going into remission from their depressive symptoms.
This latest research aims to establish whether SPL026 can be administered alongside SSRIs, the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.
Previously, patients had to discontinue their SSRI treatment to participate in the trial – a process that can be challenging for many.
The recent findings could make it easier for more people to access psychedelic-assisted treatments, potentially revolutionising the way depression is treated.
Safety has always been a significant concern when introducing new treatments.
However, the study reported that SPL026 was well-tolerated among all participants, regardless of whether they were taking SSRIs.
No severe adverse effects were linked to the drug, and any minor side effects were resolved quickly.
However, while the findings are undeniably promising, some critics point out the limited number of participants in the study.
The test cohort had only 12 patients on SSRIs, and the control group consisted of just 5 without.
Critics argue that the small sample size may not be representative of the broader population and that more extensive studies are essential to validate these results fully.
The company’s CEO, Doug Drysdale, expressed excitement over the upcoming acquisition of Small Pharma, noting the “synergistic power” of combining both entities.
Cybin’s acquisition is expected to conclude in the final quarter of 2023.
In simple terms, these findings offer hope to many suffering from MDD.
They show that, when combined with existing treatments such as SSRIs, psychedelic-assisted therapies could provide a powerful, effective and safe route to alleviating the symptoms of depression.