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FAQ: Can I use psilocybin mushrooms in combination with anti-anxiety medication?

Updated: May 16

Many people use anti-anxiety medication these days. Doctors are very quick in prescribing these meds, not only to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, but for a whole range of impacts, like improving sleep, better focus and concentration, increasing energy levels, reducing stress, etc. If a person is working in the office and needs to be focused on the computer for almost 8 hours straight, we can start to wonder if that is a healthy situation. Many people start having problems with focussing, headaches and stress. A doctor in these days is very likely to give these people anti-anxiety medication, so they can keep the up with the work pressure at the office, rather than telling them that it is not healthy have this kind of focus in the first place. In the intake forms we receive from people who want to join a mushroom retreat at ours we see this happening on a weekly base. That’s why we felt the urge to write a blog about this topic. Hopefully it will bring some consciousness on the topic, as we feel many people are not aware of the potential consequences.



psilocybin & anti-anxiety medication

 

What is anti-anxiety medication?

Anti-anxiety medication refers to a class of drugs prescribed to alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders. These medications work by targeting neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, or gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), to help reduce feelings of anxiety, panic, or fear. Common types include benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and beta-blockers. They are typically used in conjunction with therapy and other forms of treatment for managing anxiety-related conditions.

 

Combining psilocybin mushrooms with anti-anxiety medication

Combining psilocybin mushrooms (or any psychedelic substance) with anti-anxiety medication can have significant risks and interactions. It's crucial to approach such combinations with extreme caution and preferably under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Mixing substances can have unpredictable effects and potential risks, especially when their interactions are not well understood. There haven't been many scientific studies specifically investigating the combination of psilocybin with anti-anxiety medication. Most research on psilocybin has focused on its effects as a standalone treatment for various conditions, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance use disorders. However here is growing interest in exploring potential interactions between psychedelics like psilocybin and other medications, including those used to treat anxiety. Some ongoing and future studies may delve into this topic as psychedelic research expands and becomes more nuanced.



banner magic mushrooms

 

Risk management

First of all, everyone responds differently to medications and psilocybin truffles due to factors such as genetics, metabolism, and underlying health conditions. What works for one person may not be safe or effective for another. Therefore, as a professional psychedelic retreat centre we have set our parameters in the green zone. The health and safety of our participants is the highest good, we will not take any risks in this area, even though this often means we have to decline a person for such reasons although we do see the potential benefits for a psilocybin truffle experience in this person. This brings us also to legal and ethical considerations. Although in the Netherlands the use of psilocybin truffles are allowed (see this blog), using it in combination with prescription medication may have legal ramifications. This is also a risk we will not take.

 

Serotonin syndrome

Psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms and truffles, affects serotonin receptors in the brain. Many anti-anxiety medications also affect serotonin levels or receptors. Combining these substances could lead to unpredictable interactions, including serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by an excess of serotonin in the brain. It can occur when certain medications, including antidepressants, migraine medications, and illicit drugs, are taken in combination or at high doses. Symptoms may include agitation, confusion, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, tremors, etc, and in severe cases seizures and unconsciousness.



relax at magic mushroom ceremony

 

It can also decrease the efficacy of the medication

Psychedelics like psilocybin can alter perception, cognition, and mood. This might interfere with the therapeutic effects of anti-anxiety medication or mask their symptoms, making it difficult to assess their effectiveness. Both psilocybin and many anti-anxiety medications can cause sedation and drowsiness. Combining them might amplify these effects, leading to excessive sedation, impaired coordination, and dizziness.

 

It can increase anxiety or panic

These are side-effects you really want to avoid. While some individuals report decreased anxiety and improved mood after using psychedelics in controlled settings, others may experience increased anxiety or even panic attacks, especially if they have underlying mental health conditions. Mixing these substances could exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Therefore mixing these substances may increase the risk of psychological distress, such as paranoia, confusion, or dissociation. These effects can be particularly challenging to manage without proper guidance and support.

 

To come to a conclusion

Given these risks, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before combining psilocybin mushrooms or truffles while also using anti-anxiety medication. If you're considering using psychedelics for therapeutic purposes, seek out a qualified therapist or facilitator experienced in psychedelic-assisted therapy who can provide proper guidance, support, and supervision throughout the process. Safety should always be the top priority when exploring these substances. At our retreats in the Nature Temple there is no medically trained staff on board (except first aid). Our retreats are for people who are healthy and without these medication.


For more information on other topics about psilocybin mushrooms: https://magicmushroomceremony.com

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