The pharmacology of psilocybin


Torsten Passie, Medical School Hannover (Germany), Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, D-30625 Hannover, Germany. Tel: 0049 511 5323517; Fax: 0049 511 5322415; E-mail:


Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is the major psychoactive alkaloid of some species of mushrooms distributed worldwide.These mushrooms represent a growing problem regarding hallucinogenic drug abuse. Despite its experimental medical use in the 1960s, only very few pharmacological data about psilocybin were known until recently. Because of its still growing capacity for abuse and the widely dispersed data this review presents all the available pharmacological data about psilocybin.