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UGA researchers explore whether magic mushrooms pose risk when treating depression

Andrew Ridley

Psychedelic mushrooms may be one step closer to becoming a mainstream treatment for mental illness.

Researchers agree that so-called “magic mushrooms” are an effective treatment for medication-resistant depression. However, to date, research hasn’t focused as much on the safety of psychedelic mushrooms.

A new report from the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy addresses this gap, finding that psilocybin has similar side effects to traditional antidepressants. Participants in the study reported nausea, dizziness, anxiety, headache, and elevated blood pressure after receiving a therapeutic single-dose. These symptoms generally faded within a day or two.

This is where the promise of psilocybin comes in—Associate Professor Joshua Cabellero says that the therapeutic effects of just one or two doses can last for months.

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