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Leonard JB, Anderson B, Klein-Schwartz W. 
“Does getting high hurt? Characterization of cases of LSD and psilocybin-containing mushroom exposures to national poison centers between 2000 and 2016”. 
J Psychopharmacol. 2018 Sep 05.

BACKGROUND: Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin are serotonergic hallucinogens that are used primarily for recreational abuse. Small studies evaluated the efficacy of LSD and psilocybin for several psychiatric conditions. There are limited safety or toxicity data for either of these substances, especially in large populations.

METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of single-substance exposures of LSD or psilocybin-containing mushrooms (PcMs) reported to United States poison centers from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2016. The study describes the most frequent toxicities, management sites, and medical outcomes.

RESULTS: A total of 5883 PcM and 3554 LSD exposures were included. Most patients were between 13 and 29 years of age (83.9 PcM, 88.9 LSD) and primarily male (77.9 PcM, 74.1 LSD). Most common clinical effects were hallucinations (45.8 PcM, 37.4 LSD), agitation (24.1 PcM, 42.4 LSD), and tachycardia (18.0 PcM, 38.6 LSD). Serious clinical effects were infrequent, but included hyperthermia, seizures, coma, increased serum creatinine, and cardiac arrest. Most patients were treated and released from the emergency department. More LSD patients were admitted to critical care and non-critical care units than PcM patients. Moderate effect was the most frequent outcome for both substances (61.0 PcM, 62.3 LSD).

CONCLUSIONS: These data find that LSD and PcM use occurs primarily in adolescents and young adults, who experience mild to moderate adverse effects. Serious effects are infrequent but can occur. While most LSD and PcM users require only emergency department management, LSD use is more likely to require medical admission.
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