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Psych Congress NetworkMDMA-Assisted Therapy Reduces Chronic Pain in PTSD Patients

Could this treatment provide a new avenue for chronic pain in PTSD patients?

A recent Phase 2 clinical trial sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has investigated the potential of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted therapy in treating chronic pain among patients with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Utilizing a subset of participants, the trial’s findings illustrate that MDMA therapy led to notable reductions in chronic pain scores for medium- and high-pain subgroups, bringing forth implications for novel treatments in pain management for PTSD patients.

Key Points:

  • The study included 33 participants, with an 84% prevalence of pain; 75% reported disability associated with their pain.
  • Assessment used the Chronic Pain Grade Scale (CPGS) before and after therapy sessions.
  • Participants underwent three 8-hour MDMA sessions along with non-drug 90-minute sessions.
  • Doses of MDMA ranged from 80 mg to 120 mg; significant reduction in pain intensity and disability scores were observed.

Additional Points:

  • The study emphasized the urgent need for new treatments for chronic pain, frequently co-occurring with PTSD.
  • Trial results must be considered preliminary and primarily hypothesis generating.


  • Although the data is limited, the results suggest that MDMA-assisted therapy may be a promising method for reducing chronic pain and related disability among individuals with PTSD, warranting further investigation.

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Did You Know?
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.6% of the global population has suffered from PTSD at some point in their lives, emphasizing the importance of innovative approaches to treatment and management.

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