While there are no conclusive scientific studies determining whether a psilocybin journey may affect anti-depressants, we think it’s best to take a precautionary approach.
If it is possible and agreed by your doctor(and of course for some people we know it is not), try and wean yourself off your medication two weeks before your planned psilocybin experience.
Psilocybin is a consciousness-enhancing substance and for one, anti-depressants which tend to numb all sensations will likely reduce the effectiveness of the journey.
Psilocybin is a natural serotonin receptor agonist found in some very special mushrooms, including magic truffles (which is the underground part of these mushrooms).
Psilocybin works by binding to your serotonin receptors and raising your serotonin levels (the happy hormone). Psilocybin also normalizes your amygdala hyperactivity. This helps to reduce your bad moods and increase your good moods.
Taking psilocybin transforms your brain patterns, bringing about mystical and spiritual experiences which can help you find relief from stress, pain, trauma, or depression. This change doesn’t occur with regular antidepressants or any other medication.
As more research is published confirming the effectiveness of psilocybin for treating depression, it is becoming more mainstream and investors are now starting to finance pharmaceutical companies looking to test and develop drugs based on its healing properties.
From the research conducted so far, there is strong evidence that psilocybin can significantly alleviate depression. However, there is little conclusive research available yet on how psilocybin interacts with antidepressants. We are not medical practitioners and so can only report the evidence of studies conducted by experts and we are still in the middle ages when it comes to matters of the mind.
We do know that most antidepressants have some overlap with the functions of psilocybin because they both work with your serotonin receptors and levels.
The possible worst case scenario of mixing antidepressants and psychedelics, including psilocybin, is that you would experience serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are:
In more serious cases of serotonin syndrome, symptoms may be more severe or possibly even life-threatening, including: high fever, seizures, irregular heartbeats and unconsciousness.
Serotonin syndrome is thought to be rare with only 2 cases reported out of 19,000 in one study of people mixing serotonergic drugs with triptan drugs.
However, we reiterate that we are not doctors and therefore, recommend discussing this with a specialist before booking a retreat with Truffles Therapy, if you are taking antidepressants. It is possible to wean yourself off your antidepressants under the supervision of your doctor in the weeks prior to your psilocybin journey.
SSRIs are one of the most commonly used antidepressants. Selective Serotonin Re-uptakeInhibitors are prescribed for depression, PTSD, OCD, and other anxiety disorders.
Some common SSRIs are:
SSRIs work by changing and balancing the serotonin levels in your brain. They inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin by nerve cells so that more serotonin is available, creating a boost of this happy hormone. SSRIs work well for people whose serotonin re-uptake process occurs too quickly, which depletes them of serotonin.
Given that SSRIs block serotonin receptors while psilocybin binds to the receptors, it is possible that these antidepressants will reduce the effect of psilocybin. One study confirmed that the interaction between serotonergic antidepressants and the hallucinogenic LSD, reduces the psychedelic’s effect.
Serotonin-NorepinephrineRe-uptake Inhibitors work similarly to SSRIs. They are prescribed for depression, some anxiety disorders, and even chronic pain.
The difference between the two is that SNRIs also boost norepinephrine levels in the brain. Therefore,SNRIs block the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, temporarily boosting both chemicals.
Some common SNRIs are:
The effects of SNRIs are expected to overlap and reduce the effects of psilocybin, as confirmed by the same study mentioned previously.
Monoamine OxidaseInhibitors are antidepressants that work with three chemicals and receptors in the brain: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. MAOIs prevent the enzyme monoamine oxidase removing these three chemicals from the brain, balancing their levels.
MAOIs treat depressive disorders as well as other diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Some common MAOIs are:
MAOI antidepressants need to be treated with extreme caution as they can cause dangerously high blood pressure in combination with certain foods or medications.
For this reason, we don’t recommend going on a magic truffles journey while on MAOIs or without your doctor’s approval. We want your experience with psilocybin to be safe, healing and enlightening.
TCA, or Tricyclic Antidepressants, act on many receptors in the brain, in addition to serotonin and norepinephrine. TCA / TECA also inhibit ion channels.
They tend to have quite a lot of side effects and are usually replaced with new-generation antidepressants such as SSRIs and SNRIs.
Some common TCA /TECA are:
It is not recommended that you go on a psilocybin journey if you are taking these antidepressants.
Norepinephrine Re-uptakeInhibitors and Norepinephrine-Dopamine Re-uptake Inhibitors act on the norepinephrine and dopamine receptors in your brain. Similar to SSRIs and SNRIs, they block receptors from absorbing these chemicals.
NRIs and NDRIs are used to treat depression, anxiety disorders and also to boost cognitive performances.
More recently developed, antidepressants have an impact on the amygdala, while NRIs and NDRis do not.
Some common NRIs/ NDRIs are:
We do not know exactly how NRI / NDRI antidepressants would interact with psilocybin. Since these antidepressants don’t work on the serotonin receptors, there might not bean overlap.
We recommend you discuss with your doctor beforehand and if you join us on retreat we would start with a low dose of psilocybin for your journey.
Serotonin modulators and stimulants / Serotonin antagonists and re-uptake inhibitors area new-generation of antidepressants that follow SSRIs and SNRIs. They, too, are used to treat depressive and anxiety disorders.
SMS / SARI work with serotonin receptors and chemicals but in a different way.SARIs not only block serotonin receptors but also guide serotonin particles in the right direction. SMSs work similarly by blocking some receptors and modulating them or others at the same time.
Even though SSRIs are much more commonly used than SMS / SARIs, they are regarded as just as effective, or more so, and are beginning to be prescribed more often.
Some common SMS / SARIs:
Since SMS /SARIs are relatively new in the treatment for depression, we do not know how they would interact with psilocybin. We assume some overlap would occur, as both affect serotonin levels and receptors.
Please discuss with your doctor before planning a psilocybin journey and we can offer you a small dose for your mystical journey.
Lithium is often used to treat mania. It is also used as a mediator with certain types of antidepressants, such as TCA, in the treatment of depression. Unfortunately, doctors limited understanding of how Lithium works, but it is believed to strengthen nerve cell connections.
Reports from users mixing lithium and psychedelics are not positive. One study showed people taking Lithium had an increased response to LSD – which might be similar in the case of psilocybin.
We do not recommend psilocybin be taken while on a Lithium treatment.
We have tried to bring you all the information currently available on psilocybin and antidepressants. Unfortunately, there is still limited research on taking psilocybin while on antidepressants, so we suggest being extremely cautious if considering it. This is sure to change in the coming years, as more and more mental health practitioners and scientists recognize the value of psychedelics on the human psyche and conduct more research.
We here at Truffles Therapy offer experienced and safe guided psilocybin journeys. Our retreats in the beautiful Costa Rica countryside are one of the best places to experience psilocybin in a controlled environment.
During the retreat, you will also get to enjoy yoga and meditation sessions, healthy vegan food, walks in nature and sharing your mystical experiences on psilocybin. The entire staff is highly experienced and loving, caring for your every need.
We will make sure your experience is as safe as possible so you can get the mystical experience and transformation you seek. If you have any doubts, please don’t hesitate to arrange a call with us so we can discuss your individual circumstances.