Growing evidence suggests psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic, is a safe and promising pharmacotherapy for treatment of mood and substance use disorders when administered as part of a structured intervention. In most trials to date, psilocybin dose has been administered on a weight-adjusted basis rather than the more convenient procedure of administering a fixed dose
The present post hoc analyses sought to determine whether the subjective effects of psilocybin are affected by body weight when psilocybin is administered on a weight-adjusted basis and when psilocybin is administered as a fixed dose.
We analyzed acute subjective drug effects (mystical, challenging, and intensity) associated with therapeutic outcomes from ten previous studies (total N = 288) in which psilocybin was administered in the range 20 to 30 mg/70 kg (inclusive). Separate multivariate regression analyses examined the relationships between demographic variables including body weight and subjective effects in participants receiving 20 mg/70 kg (n = 120), participants receiving 30 mg/70 kg (n = 182), and participants whose weight-adjusted dose was about 25 mg (to approximate the fixed dose that is currently being evaluated in registration trials for major depressive disorder) (n = 103).
In the 20 mg/70 kg and 30 mg/70 kg weight-adjusted groups, and in the fixed dose group, no significant associations were found between subjective effects and demographic variables including body weight or sex. Across a wide range of body weights (49 to 113 kg) the present results showed no evidence that body weight affected subjective effects of psilocybin.
These results suggest that the convenience and lower cost of administering psilocybin as a fixed dose outweigh any potential advantage of weight-adjusted dosing.