INTRODUCTION: Psilocybin-assisted therapy may be a new treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD), with encouraging data from pilot trials. In this trial (short name: PsiDeR) we aimed to test the feasibility of a parallel-group, randomised, placebo-controlled design. The primary outcomes in this trial are measures of feasibility: recruitment rates, dropout rates and the variance of the primary outcome measure of depression.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We are recruiting up to 60 participants at a single centre in London, UK who are unresponsive to, or intolerant of, at least two evidence-based treatments for MDD. Participants are randomised to receive a single dosing session of 25 mg psilocybin or a placebo. All participants receive a package of psychological therapy. The primary outcome measure for depression is the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale collected by blinded, independent raters. The primary endpoint is at 3 weeks, and the total follow-up is 6 weeks. With further informed consent, this study collects neuroimaging and omics data for mechanism and biomarker analyses and offers participants an open label extension consisting of a further, open label dose of 25 mg of psilocybin.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: All participants will be required to provide written informed consent. The trial has been authorised by the National Research Ethics Committee (20-LO/0206), Health Research Authority (252750) and Medicine's and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (CTA 14523/0284/001-0001) in the UK. Dissemination of results will occur via a peer-reviewed publication and other relevant media.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere056091
Pages (from-to)e056091
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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