Food and Drug Administration grants breakthrough therapy designation for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD.
Results of first phase proved that by giving doses of MDMA at the beginning of three, eight-hour therapy sessions, researchers say they have helped chronic PTSD patients process and move past their traumas.
In clinical trials with 107 patients closely monitored by the FDA, 61 percent reported major reductions in symptoms — to the point where they no longer fit the criteria for PTSD. Follow-up studies a year later found 67 percent no longer had PTSD.
“If you were to design the perfect drug to treat PTSD, MDMA would be it,” said Rick Doblin, who three decades ago founded the California nonprofit behind the clinical trials.
The investigative tests, which will cost approximately $25 million, will be funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and potentially wrap as soon as 2021.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is also proven to help heal the psychological and emotional damage caused by assaults, war, violent crime, and other traumas. There is also MDMA-assisted therapy for autistic adults with social anxiety, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety related to life-threatening illnesses.