A new batch of hallucinogenic drugs has just been approved for use in the US, bringing the total number of approved medications to 30.
A new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins University found that combining LSD, mescaline and psilocybin, could help people sleep better, reduce anxiety and depression, and enhance cognitive function.
The drugs work by blocking the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which plays a key role in memory and mood regulation.
Researchers said that the new drug would be a promising new tool for treating psychiatric disorders and for treating drug addiction.
“We believe that combining these substances together with some psychotherapeutic agents, like melatonin, could provide a safe, effective and nontoxic alternative to sleep medications that are currently available for sleep disorders,” lead researcher Dr. David J. Cohen told the AP.
“Although the results from our study were preliminary, we believe that this combination may be an effective alternative to conventional sleep medicine and could lead to a more effective treatment of sleep disorders.”
The researchers tested the drugs in a pilot study, and said they saw no adverse effects, including hallucinations, after taking the drugs for a month.
Researchers believe that LSD is a “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor” (SSRI), and mescaly is a psychostimulant.
The researchers also said that LSD could potentially be useful in treating anxiety and sleep disorders.
“While many people with insomnia, anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions are reluctant to take an SSRI or a psychotherapist, these agents are effective and well tolerated in clinical trials,” Cohen said.
“In our study, we were able to provide a dose-response profile of these drugs that suggested a reduction in anxiety and insomnia and a shift toward better mood, which is related to improved sleep and improved cognitive functioning.”
The research is still in its early stages, and Cohen said that more studies need to be conducted before they can confirm the drugs’ effectiveness for treating depression, anxiety, and other sleep disorders, or for treating addiction.
Researchers also plan to continue testing the drug on humans.
The new drugs were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in January.
The approval came with a warning that some people may experience negative side effects from taking them, including “sleep disruption, agitation, confusion, irritability, agitation or other psychosomatic symptoms.”
But researchers said that those who are using the drugs should not be concerned.
“It’s important to note that the use of the substances does not mean that they will be helpful for everyone,” Cohen told Healthline.
“People should be aware that the drugs do not provide an all-or-nothing approach for the treatment of a particular sleep disorder.”
The new medications are scheduled to be tested on humans in the coming months.