Bogenschutz et al In JAMA Psych 2022: Limitations
"Several limitations of the study warrant discussion. First, diphenhydramine was ineffective in maintaining the blind after drug administration, so biased expectancies could have influenced results. Control medications such as methylphenidate,42 niacin,2 and low-dose psilocybin1 likewise did not adequately maintain blinding in past psilocybin trials, so this issue remains a challenge for clinical research on psychedelics. Second, EtG samples, used to validate self-reported drinking outcomes, were available for only 53.8% of treated participants. Third, the study did not have adequate power to evaluate effects in subgroups, such as women, ethnic and racial minority groups, and individuals with psychiatric comorbidity, nor was it designed to identify causal mechanisms, optimal dosing, or predictors of treatment response. Fourth, the study population was lower in drinking intensity at screening than in most AUD medication trials, and results cannot be assumed to generalize to populations with more severe AUD. Fifth, the 2-group design does not permit evaluation of the effects of psychotherapy or the interaction between psychotherapy and medication. Sixth, the study does not provide information on the duration of the effects of psilocybin beyond the 32-week double-blind observation period, which is important given the often chronic, relapsing course of AUD. Further studies will be necessary to address these questions and many others concerning the use of psilocybin in the treatment of AUD."
Bogenschutz MP, Ross S, Bhatt S, et al. Percentage of Heavy Drinking Days Following Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy vs Placebo in the Treatment of Adult Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online August 24, 2022.