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Current Rheumatology Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3971
ISSN (Online): 1875-6360

Case Report

Potential Benefits of Psilocybin for Lupus Pain: A Case Report

Author(s): Sofia Audrey B. Gonzales, Christine Alexopoulos and Daniel G. Arkfeld*

Volume 20, Issue 1, 2024

Published on: 04 September, 2023

Page: [97 - 99] Pages: 3

DOI: 10.2174/1573397119666230904150750

Price: $65


Introduction: Outcomes of treatment for patients with Lupus have shown overall improvement and benefit from the more aggressive use of immunosuppressants and biological agents through a treat-to-target approach. However, chronic musculoskeletal pain can be refractory to treatment despite the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and other analgesic agents, leading to patient dissatisfaction. The concept of new neural pathways from psilocybin usage has been proposed in a variety of pain syndromes; however, it is not trialed for patients with Lupus pain.

Case Presentation: The patient was a 67-year-old male with positive anti-dsDNA antibody Lupus with a predominance of chronic polyarticular joint pain treated with hydroxychloroquine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs without pain relief. Pain dramatically improved after a one-time macro-dosing of 6 grams of Psilocybin cubensis in Oregon, which he expected would only provide a sense of enlightenment. After 12 months, he continued without debilitating joint pain.

Conclusion: The serotonin-2A receptor’s activation triggers an array of neurophysiological reactions that disrupt the functional connections in areas of the brain that are associated with chronic pain. These neuroplastic effects can generate healthy connections, resulting in long-lasting pain relief. However, this is a process that has not been fully analyzed. While there is anecdotal evidence to suggest the therapeutic benefits for autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, there is no specific research that explores its use for lupus-related pain. Since this is the first case that shows the benefit of psilocybin in a patient with Lupus, further studies on macro-dosing psilocybin to treat Lupus pain are warranted.

Keywords: Case report, psilocybin, lupus, chronic pain, autoimmune, pain syndromes.

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