Risk of drug interaction
Interaction with drugs
Other than the contraindications linked to the use of psilocybin, the medical community also recognizes a risk linked to taking several other psychoactive (legal or illegal) substances at the same time. Combining psilocybin and cannabis, opioids, LCD, ayahuasca, or certain neuroleptics is therefore totally unpredictable and even dangerous.
Taking psychoactive substances risks altering brain chemistry more permanently.
Psilocybin and serotonin
Some treatments for depression (whether natural or chemical), are not recommended for people who want to use psilocybin. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monoamine-oxidase inhibitors, hypericum, and lithium all act directly on a natural neurotransmitter called serotonin.
Serotonin is directly involved in how we manage our emotions and our decision-making process, so it is also closely linked to our mood.
Taking psilocybin while on antidepressants
Certain classes of antidepressants affect the amount of serotonin available in the brain, in much the same way as psilocybin truffle does. Psilocin (the molecule that our body derives from psilocybin) and this type of medication have dangerously similar effects, making it essential to be careful to avoid taking both.
In some people, taking psychedelic truffles or mushrooms and antidepressants can lead to a serotonin overdose and, in turn, physiological over stimulation.
In some rare cases, simultaneously taking psychedelic mushrooms and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or monoamine-oxidase inhibitors can lead to serotonin syndrome. This is an infrequent but very serious side effect. In cases of serotonin syndrome, the overabundance of serotonin in the body can cause irreversible lesions to the brain or lead to death.
Should I stop my antidepressants?
We encourage all participants who are being treated for depression to be extremely careful. Consulting a doctor is the only way to understand and measure the risks related to any therapeutic treatment.
Some healthcare professionals can help their patients transition towards a temporary pause in their treatment, or, on the contrary, may firmly discourage it. Stopping any treatment for depression should be done gradually and under medical supervision.
We therefore strongly recommend that you first and foremost have a conversation with your doctor, who can assess the benefits (or not) of a psychedelic retreat for you.
Psychiatric contraindications to taking psilocybin
Researchers in psychiatry encourage patients suffering from psychiatric disorders to be careful when considering taking any psychedelic substance. Psilocybin is therefore not recommended for patients who:
- Have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, dissociative identity disorder, multiple personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia.
- Are at hereditary risk of suffering from one of these disorders.
Because of the chemical shift in your brain that psilocin provokes, people suffering from a psychiatric disorder are more likely to experience problems and have a negative mystical experience. In these cases, doctors warn about the dangers of bringing on more long-term disorders such as depersonalization, and manic or psychotic behaviour.
These are also the same reasons that simultaneously taking neuroleptics and psilocybin is not recommended.