Matthias E Liechti

Matthias E Liechti
Universitätsspital Basel · Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

MD, MAS

About

344
Publications
145,280
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10,525
Citations
Citations since 2016
206 Research Items
7430 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
Introduction
Matthias E Liechti currently works as vice head at the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Universitätsspital Basel. Matthias does research in Neuroscience, Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. Current project are 'Pharmacology of MDMA, LSD and other psychoactive substances.'

Publications

Publications (344)
Article
Objective: To investigate whether the severity of acute recreation drug toxicity presentations to emergency departments (EDs) in Europe has changed in recent years and to uncover potential sex differences. Design: We analysed presentations to 36 EDs in 24 European countries relating to acute recreational drug toxicity, with separate analysis for...
Article
Background: Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is currently being investigated in psychedelic-assisted therapy. LSD has a long duration of acute action of 8-11 h. It produces its acute psychedelic effects via stimulation of the serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine-2A (HT2A) receptor. Administration of the 5-HT2A antagonist ketanserin before LSD almost full...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) have been increasingly reported in the last 15-20 years. We aimed to describe presentations to the emergency department (ED) with acute recreational drug toxicity involving NPS. Methods: Data were extracted from the European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN) Plus database for all presentations...
Preprint
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Psychedelics have emerged as promising candidate treatments for various psychiatric conditions, and given their clinical potential, there is a need to identify biomarkers that underlie their effects. Here, we investigate the neural mechanisms of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) using regression dynamic causal modelling (rDCM), a novel technique tha...
Article
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The indole alkaloid N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) induces psychedelic effects in humans. In addition to ceremonial and recreational use, DMT is subject to clinical investigations. Sensitive bioanalytical methods are required to assess the pharmacokinetics of DMT and its metabolites in human plasma. Here, a high performance liquid chromatography–tand...
Article
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BACKGROUND This study aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-assisted therapy in patients who suffered from anxiety with or without association to a life threatening illness. METHODS The study is an investigator-initiated two-center trial that used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-period, random-orde...
Article
Aim Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes play a major role in drug metabolism. Many of these enzymes exhibit a huge inter-individual variation in activity, not only attributable to the individual's genotype. Such environmental influences are hardly measurable, let alone their outcome predictable. The actual phenotype is usually determined through administ...
Article
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Mescaline is a psychedelic phenethylamine found in different species of cacti. Currently, mescaline’s acute subjective effects and pharmacokinetics are investigated in several modern clinical studies. Therefore, we developed a bioanalytical method for the rapid quantification of mescaline and its metabolites in human plasma. Mescaline and its metab...
Article
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Background: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has shown initial promise as an adjunct in psychotherapy to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Its efficacy and safety have been demonstrated across phase I–III studies. However, the mechanism underlying the potential utility of MDMA to treat PTSD in humans has not yet been thoroughly in...
Article
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Background: Cognition that is not dominated by thinking in terms of opposites (opposite diminishing) or by making judgments (non-judging) can be found both in Buddhist/mindfulness contexts and in mental states that are fostered by dissociative psychedelics ( N -methyl-D-aspartate antagonists) such as ketamine. Especially for the Buddhist/mindfulnes...
Article
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Rationale Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is used in psychiatric and psychological research and investigated as a potential treatment for medical and psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, and cluster headache. Objectives Safety data on clinical safety are available from small studies but not from larger samples. We report safety p...
Article
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Background LSD and psilocybin are increasingly used in phase I trials and evaluated as therapeutic agents for mental disorders. The phenomenon of reoccurring drug-like experiences after the acute substance effects have worn off was described for both substances and especially attributed to LSD. According to the DSM-V, the persisting and distressing...
Article
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3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) is a psychoactive compound chemically related to the entactogen MDMA. MDA shares some of the entactogenic effects of MDMA but also exerts stimulant effects and psychedelic properties at higher doses. Here, we examined the pharmacological properties of MDA analogs and related amphetamine-based compounds detected i...
Article
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a heterogenous entity with a wide range of pathogenetic mechanisms and clinical manifestations. DILI is a diagnosis of exclusion. Metamizole (dipyrone) is an analgesic increasingly used in Europe, but there is limited information on its adverse effects. We report the case of a 56-year-old man with acute fever, ma...
Article
Objective and hypothesis: 4-Substituted derivatives of 2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine (referred to as DOX derivatives) exhibit psychedelic and euphoria-inducing effects, mainly mediated by 5-HT2A receptor activation; for this reason, they are used recreationally but also bear therapeutic potential. Studies in humans and animals revealed that 4-substituti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Psychedelic phenethylamines such as 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine (mescaline) are used recreationally due to their mind-altering effects. Furthermore, psychedelics have recently gained increased interest as prospective therapeutics. Here, we studied the pharmacological properties of 4-alkylated-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamines. Specifically,...
Article
Objective: To investigate if clinical features associated with acute cannabis intoxication in patients presenting to Emergency Departments for medical assistance differ according to patient age and sex. Methods: We analysed presentations in the Euro-DEN Plus dataset from 2014 to 2019 in which cannabis was the only drug involved (except for alcoh...
Article
Background and importance: Patients who use recreational drugs frequently co-ingest ethanol, which is considered a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. The clinical relevance of this in acute toxicity involving other CNS depressants is not well described. Objective: To assess the clinical impact of ethanol co-use in patients presenting to th...
Article
Background Patients with psychotic disorders present alterations in thalamocortical intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) as measured by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Specifically, thalamic iFC is increased with sensorimotor cortices (hyperconnectivity) and decreased with prefrontal-limbic cortices (hypoconnectivi...
Article
Full-text available
3,4,5-Trimethoxyphenethylamine (mescaline) is a psychedelic alkaloid found in peyote cactus. Related 4-alkoxy-3,5-dimethoxy-substituted phenethylamines (scalines) and amphetamines (3C-scalines) are reported to induce similarly potent psychedelic effects and are therefore potential novel therapeutics for psychedelic-assisted therapy. Herein, several...
Article
Full-text available
Growing interest has been seen in using lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin in psychiatric research and therapy. However, no modern studies have evaluated differences in subjective and autonomic effects of LSD and psilocybin or their similarities and dose equivalence. We used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover des...
Chapter
The receptor and transporter interaction profiles for novel psychoactive substances (NPS) can be determined relatively rapidly in vitro, typically using cells transfected with the targets of interest or rat brain synaptosomes. Profiles of NPS are usually compared with the profiles of well-characterized substances, which can inform the classificatio...
Article
Full-text available
Classic psychedelics, including psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), dimethyltryptamine, and mescaline, and entactogens/empathogens, especially 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, have received renewed attention in psychiatric research and may be developed into medications for such indications as anxiety, depression, cluster headache, and p...
Article
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The psychedelic psilocybin is being investigated for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Unclear is whether antidepressant treatments interact with psilocybin. The present study used a double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, cross‐over design with two experimental test sessions to investigate the response to psilocybin (25 mg) in healthy subjects af...
Article
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Pyrovalerone cathinones are potent psychoactive substances that possess a pyrrolidine moiety. Pyrovalerone-type novel psychoactive substances (NPS) are continuously detected but their pharmacology and toxicology are largely unknown. We assessed several pyrovalerone and related cathinone derivatives at the human norepinephrine (NET), dopamine (DAT),...
Article
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The psychedelic lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) has experienced a revival in research, including clinical trials that evaluate LSD-assisted psychotherapy. LSD induces perceptual alterations and influences emotion processing in ways that may support psychotherapy. Here, we investigated the effects of LSD on emotional empathy and mediating role of t...
Article
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New psychoactive stimulants and psychedelics continue to play an important role on the illicit new psychoactive substance (NPS) market. Designer stimulants and psychedelics both affect monoaminergic systems, although by different mechanisms. Stimulant NPS primarily interact with monoamine transporters, either as inhibitors or as substrates. Psyched...
Article
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Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a classic psychedelic substance that is used recreationally and investigated in psychiatric research. There are no pharmacogenetic studies on LSD. In vitro metabolic studies indicate that several cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms (e.g., CYP2D6, CYP1A2, and CYP2C9) are involved in LSD metabolism, but in vivo data are...
Article
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Background 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”) is used both recreationally and therapeutically. Little is known about the factors influencing inter- and intra-individual differences in the acute response to MDMA. Effects of other psychoactive substances have been shown to be critically influenced by personality traits and mood state...
Article
Objective To analyse the relative percentage of acute recreational drug toxicity emergency department (ED) presentations involving the main drug groups according to age and sex and investigate different patterns based on sex and age strata. Methods We analysed all patients with acute recreational drug toxicity included by the Euro-DEN Plus dataset...
Chapter
Stimulant and psychedelic drugs of abuse exert their effects through interactions with monoaminergic systems. Compared to other monoaminergic receptors and transporters, the 5-hydroxytryptamine 2B (5-HT2B) receptor represents a relatively little studied target of serotonergic drugs of abuse. However, studies suggest the involvement of 5-HT2B recept...
Article
Full-text available
Psilocin is the active metabolite of psilocybin, a serotonergic psychedelic substance. It is used recreationally and investigated in substance-assisted psychotherapy. The pharmacokinetic properties of psilocin are only partially characterized. Therefore, we developed and validated a rapid LC-MS/MS method to quantify psilocin and its metabolite 4-hy...
Article
Full-text available
It has been reported that serotonergic hallucinogens like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) induce decreases in functional connectivity within various resting-state networks. These alterations were seen as reflecting specific neuronal effects of hallucinogens and it was speculated that these shifts in connectivity underlie the characteristic subject...
Article
Full-text available
Growing interest has been seen in using lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in psychiatric research and therapy. However, no modern studies have evaluated subjective and autonomic effects of different and pharmaceutically well-defined doses of LSD. We used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design in 16 healthy subjects (eight w...
Article
Background Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) were used in psychotherapy in the 1960s–1980s, and are currently being re-investigated as treatments for several psychiatric disorders. In Switzerland, limited medical use of these substances is possible in patients not responding to other treatments (compassio...
Article
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A 39-year-old female patient suffering from severe, treatment-resistant depression and other symptoms associated with a complex personality disorder was admitted to our open psychiatric ward for an experimental treatment with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). The substance was administered in repeated weekly and ascending doses. Curiously, there we...
Article
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There is a popular interest in microdosing with psychedelics such as LSD. This practice of using one-tenth of a full psychedelic dose according to a specific dosing schedule, anecdotally enhances mood and performance. Nonetheless, controlled research on the efficacy of microdosing is scarce. The main objective of the present dose-finding study was...
Article
Full-text available
"Microdoses" of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) are used recreationally to enhance mood and cognition. Increasing interest has also been seen in developing LSD into a medication. Therefore, we performed a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic study using very low doses of LSD. Single doses of LSD base (5, 10, and 20 µg) and placebo were administered in...
Article
Despite preclinical evidence for psychedelic-induced neuroplasticity, confirmation in humans is grossly lacking. Given the increased interest in using low doses of psychedelics for psychiatric indications, and the importance of neuroplasticity in the therapeutic response, this placebo-controlled within-subject study investigated the effect of singl...
Article
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Background Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is an ergot alkaloid derivative with psychedelic properties that has been implicated in the management of persistent pain. Clinical studies in the 1960s and 1970s have demonstrated profound analgesic effects of full doses of LSD in terminally ill patients, but this line of research evaporated after LSD wa...
Article
Full-text available
Psychoactive stimulants are a popular drug class which are used recreationally. Over the last decade, large numbers of new psychoactive substances (NPS) have entered the drug market and these pose a worldwide problem to human health. Metabolomics approaches are useful tools for simultaneous detection of endogenous metabolites affected by drug use....
Article
Context 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) remains one of the most commonly used recreational drugs in Europe. Monitoring of Emergency Department (ED) presentations with acute toxicity associated with MDMA is important to determine trends in MDMA use and harms. Methods Data were extracted from the European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN)...
Article
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RationaleThe recreational use of naphyrone, a potent synthetic cathinone with a pyrovalerone structure, has raised questions about possible deleterious neurobehavioral consequences.Objective To investigate naphyrone-induced neurobehavioral effects and alterations in brain monoamines using two patterns of abuse, i.e., single and repeated (binge) use...
Article
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High-affinity monoamine transporters are targets for prescribed medications and stimulant drugs of abuse. Therefore, assessing monoamine transporter activity for candidate medications and newly-emerging drugs of abuse provides essential information for industry, academia, and public health. Radiotracer binding and uptake inhibition are the gold sta...
Article
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Halogenation of amphetamines and methcathinones has become a common method to obtain novel psychoactive substances (NPS) also called “legal highs”. The para-halogenated derivatives of amphetamine and methcathinone are available over the internet and have entered the illicit drug market but studies on their potential neurotoxic effects are rare. The...
Article
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Hyperthermia is one of the severe acute adverse effects that can be caused by the ingestion of recreational drugs, such as methcathinones. The effect of hyperthermia on neurotoxicity is currently not known. The primary aim of our study was therefore to investigate the effects of hyperthermia (40.5 °C) on the neurotoxicity of methcathinone (MC), 4-c...
Article
Full-text available
Psychoactive substances with chemical structures or pharmacological profiles that are similar to traditional drugs of abuse continue to emerge on the recreational drug market. Internet vendors may at least temporarily sell these so-called designer drugs without adhering to legal statutes or facing legal consequences. Overall, the mechanism of actio...
Article
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Background: 2,4,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine (TMA-2) is a potent psychedelic compound. Structurally related 4-alkyloxy-substituted 2,5-dimethoxyamphetamines and phenethylamine congeners (2C-O derivatives) have been described but their pharmacology is mostly undefined. Therefore, we examined receptor binding and activation profiles of these derivatives a...
Article
Full-text available
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a classic psychedelic, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is an empathogen, and d-amphetamine is a classic stimulant. All three substances are used recreationally. LSD and MDMA are being investigated as medications to assist psychotherapy, and d-amphetamine is used for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyp...
Article
Background: Concomitant use of cannabis and other psychoactive substances is common and it is often difficult to differentiate its acute effects from those of other substances. This study aimed to characterize the acute toxicity of cannabis with and without co-use of other substances. Methods: Retrospective analysis of cases presenting at the em...
Article
Full-text available
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a recreational substance also investigated as medication for posttraumatic stress disorder. Dopamine (DA) system stimulation likely contributes to the acute mood effects of amphetamines, including MDMA. Genetic variants, such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and polymorphic regions of t...