A Multi-Site Phase 3 Study of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that can develop after a traumatic life experience that severely reduces quality of life. This multi-site, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized Phase 3 study will assess the efficacy and safety of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy compared to psychotherapy with placebo in participants diagnosed with at least moderate PTSD. The study will be conducted in up to N ≈ 100 participants. Participants will be randomized to receive a flexible dose of 80 or 120 mg MDMA or placebo, followed by a supplemental half-dose of 40 or 60 mg MDMA or placebo, unless contraindicated, with manualized psychotherapy in three monthly Experimental Sessions. This ~12-week Treatment Period will be preceded by three Preparatory Sessions with the participant and therapists. During the Treatment Period, each Experimental Session will be followed by three Integrative Sessions of non-drug psychotherapy.
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Site Phase 3 Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Manualized MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder of Moderate or Greater Severity
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, war, or any other life-threatening event. PTSD is a worldwide health problem that severely reduces a person's quality of life and is associated with high rates of psychiatric and medical comorbidity, disability, suffering, and suicide. At least a third of PTSD patients fail to respond to established PTSD psychotherapies. A wider array of effective treatments for PTSD are needed. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy may be a potential treatment option for PTSD. MDMA is a monoamine releaser that affects serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. MDMA is capable of inducing unique psychopharmacological effects such as decreased feelings of fear, increased feelings of wellbeing, increased sociability and extroversion, increased interpersonal trust, and an alert state of consciousness. In the U.S., MDMA was used as an adjunct to psychotherapy by a considerable number of psychiatrists and therapists before it was placed in Schedule I in 1985 as a result of non-medical use. This multi-site, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized Phase 3 study will assess the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy versus psychotherapy with placebo control in participants diagnosed with at least moderate PTSD. The study will be conducted in N ≈ 100 participants. Participants will be randomized into one of two groups (MDMA or placebo) in a 1:1 ratio. A flexible dose of MDMA or placebo, followed by a supplemental half-dose unless contraindicated, will be administered during the Treatment Period with manualized psychotherapy in three monthly Experimental Sessions. This ~12-week Treatment Period will be preceded by three Preparatory Sessions with the participant and therapists. Initial doses in each Experimental Session will be 80 mg or 120 mg of MDMA compounded with mannitol and magnesium stearate or placebo alone (mannitol and magnesium stearate), followed 1.5 to 2 hours later by a supplemental half-dose (40 or 60 mg, respectively). Total amounts of MDMA to be administered per Experimental Session range from 80 mg to 180 mg. Each Experimental Session will be followed by three Integrative Sessions of non-drug psychotherapy to help the participants process and understand their experiences during the Experimental Sessions. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD compared to identical psychotherapy with inactive placebo, as measured by change in Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) Total Severity Score from Visit 3 (Baseline) to Visit 19 (18 weeks post Baseline) (Blake et al., 1995). The key secondary objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD compared to identical psychotherapy with inactive placebo in clinician-rated functional impairment, as measured by the change in Sheehan Disability Scale (adapted SDS) item scores from Visit 3 (Baseline) to Visit 19 (18 weeks post Baseline) (Leon et al., 1997).
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Stress Disorders, Traumatic Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine Behavioral: Psychotherapy MDMA
You can join if…
Open to people ages 18 years and up
- Are at least 18 years old.
- Are fluent in speaking and reading the predominantly used or recognized language of the study site.
- Are able to swallow pills.
- Agree to have study visits recorded, including Experimental Sessions, Independent Rater assessments, and non-drug psychotherapy sessions.
- Must provide a contact (relative, spouse, close friend or other caregiver) who is willing and able to be reached by the investigators in the event of a participant becoming suicidal or unreachable.
- Must agree to inform the investigators within 48 hours of any medical conditions and procedures.
- If of childbearing potential, must have a negative pregnancy test at study entry and prior to each Experimental Session, and must agree to use adequate birth control through 10 days after the last Experimental Session.
- Must not participate in any other interventional clinical trials during the duration of the study.
- Must be willing to remain overnight at the study site after each Experimental Session and be driven home after, and commit to medication dosing, therapy, and study procedures.
- At baseline, have moderate PTSD diagnosis.
You CAN'T join if...
- Are not able to give adequate informed consent.
- Have uncontrolled hypertension.
- Have a marked baseline prolongation of QT/QTc interval (e.g., repeated demonstration of a QTc interval >450 milliseconds [ms] corrected by Bazett's formula).
- Have a history of additional risk factors for Torsade de pointes (e.g., heart failure, hypokalemia, family history of Long QT Syndrome).
- Have evidence or history of significant medical disorders.
- Have symptomatic liver disease.
- Have history of hyponatremia or hyperthermia.
- Weigh less than 48 kilograms (kg).
- Are pregnant or nursing, or are of childbearing potential and are not practicing an effective means of birth control.
- Are abusing illegal drugs.
- University of California San Francisco
San Francisco California 94122 United States
- San Francisco Insight and Integration Center
San Francisco California 94114 United States
- in progress, not accepting new patients
- Start Date
- Completion Date
- Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
- Recruitment Website: Please click on link to apply.
- Phase 3 research study
- Study Type
- Expecting 100 study participants
- Last Updated