MDMA Therapy for PTSD FAQ
MDMA Therapy for PTSD, being so new, has lots of people curious. These are the questions I get the most from my YouTube channel and email. Each answer has a link to the website where I pulled the answer.
Experts have found that when people with PTSD are given a certain amount of MDMA in a clinical setting, it helps them open up so they can work through traumatic events. WEBMD
MAPS recently completed MAPP2, the second of two Phase 3 trials to support FDA approval of this Breakthrough-Designated therapy. With this completion, MDMA-assisted therapy is expected to receive FDA evaluation in 2023.
In our first Phase 3 study, 88% of participants with severe PTSD experienced a clinically significant reduction in PTSD diagnostic scores two months after their third session of MDMA-assisted therapy, compared to 60% of placebo participants.
Additionally, 67% of participants in the MDMA group compared to 32% of participants in the placebo group no longer met the criteria for PTSD two months after the sessions. MAPS.org
It’s important to note that MDMA alone doesn’t treat PTSD, and research doesn’t suggest it’s a ‘cure’.
What MDMA does is help the process of psychotherapy.11, 12
MDMA can assist psychotherapy by reducing defensiveness and anxiety, increasing relaxation and improving mood. It can also increase the bond between the therapist and patient.11
This may enable someone to revisit traumatic memories and work through their emotions without being re-traumatised, or finding the associated anxiety or fear too overwhelming.11
Because MDMA appears to reduce anxiety associated with recalling traumatic experiences, it can also help increase insight and memory. Negative memories may feel less confronting, allowing the therapist and patient to have sessions without the patient becoming overly anxious.11 ADF
The evidence. “MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has demonstrated greater therapeutic efficacy than any other psychotherapy or medication for PTSD,” said Dr. Yehuda. Unlike with many other therapies for PTSD, symptom reduction can be maintained after a single course of treatment by most patients. And the effects last—more than two-thirds of patients receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy no longer had PTSD when measured one year later. Researchers attribute these outcomes to MDMA’s unique ability to allow patients to examine traumatic experiences without experiencing the attendant pain, which enables them to work through the issue with their therapist. Mount Sinai
MDMA is a synthetic drug that acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen.15–17 It produces an energizing effect, distortions in time and perception, and enhanced enjoyment from sensory experiences. It has also been described as an entactogen—a drug that can increase self-awareness and empathy.1,2,18 NIH
A person may experience the intoxicating effects of MDMA within 45 minutes or so after taking a single dose. Those effects include an enhanced sense of well-being,28,53 increased extroversion,27,53 emotional warmth, empathy toward others,54 and a willingness to discuss emotionally-charged memories.55 In addition, people report enhanced sensory perception as a hallmark of the MDMA experience.27,28 NIH
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is investigated as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety-related conditions in multiple placebo-controlled and open label studies. MDMA-assisted therapy is projected for approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies worldwide within the next few years. MDMA is a monoamine releaser and uptake inhibitor affecting serotonin, potentially increasing the risk of serotonin syndrome (SS). No instances of SS have occurred in clinical trials. The relatively small number of patients in controlled trials warranted a survey of FDA Adverse Event Reporting System data for the occurrence of SS in a larger database. We found 20 SS cases in people exposed to MDMA, all of which had also taken one or more substances with serotonergic properties in addition to MDMA, including amphetamines, stimulants, and opioids. There were no cases of SS associated with MDMA where MDMA was the sole reported compound taken. National Library of Medicine
PTSD happens after someone goes through a traumatic event like a serious accident, sexual abuse, injuries, or war. Memories may pop up as flashbacks or nightmares and force some people to relive terrifying moments. Severe PTSD can also lead to suicide.
There’s no medication to treat PTSD itself, but some medicines may ease symptoms. Treatments like talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can also help. But almost a third of people drop out of therapy, and up to 58% still have PTSD symptoms after they finish. This is where MDMA comes in.
Experts have found that when people with PTSD are given a certain amount of MDMA in a clinical setting, it helps them open up so they can work through traumatic events. WebMD
This review discusses 4 types of compounds: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ketamine, classical psychedelics (e.g., psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide), and cannabinoids. We describe the therapeutic rationale, the setting in which they are being administered, and their current state of evidence in the treatment of PTSD. Each compound provides unique qualities for the treatment of PTSD, from their use to rapidly target symptoms to their use as adjuncts to facilitate psychotherapeutic treatments. NIH
Either Complex PTSD or PTSD may occur in response to trauma, and they have various symptoms in common. C-PTSD is caused by ongoing trauma which lasts for months or years, while PTSD may be caused by a single traumatic event. The symptoms of C-PTSD are also more complex and may take longer to treat. Choosing Therapy