The psychedelic effects of psilocybin mushrooms on depression treatment may be less potent in those taking antidepressants, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
This finding underscores the importance of further research and caution when combining psilocybin with certain antidepressant medications.
The study notably focuses on two categories of these medications: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
The researchers conducted the study to explore the potential impact of SSRIs and SNRIs on the psychedelic properties of psilocybin, a compound found in certain mushrooms known for its psychoactive effects.
They gathered data through an online survey from individuals who had used psilocybin while on antidepressants or within two years of discontinuing such medications.
The study aimed to shed light on the interactions between antidepressants and psilocybin, given the growing interest in psilocybin's potential as a treatment for depression.
The survey collected responses from 2,652 participants, mostly from the United States, predominantly white, and college-educated.
Out of these, 468 individuals reported on 611 instances of psilocybin use while taking antidepressants.
The study analysed the data to understand how these medications might impact the psychedelic effects of psilocybin.
The results of the study showed a significant likelihood of reduced effects of psilocybin when used in conjunction with SSRIs and SNRIs.
For participants taking SSRIs, there was a 47% chance of experiencing diminished effects, while for those on SNRIs, the chance increased to 55%.
In comparison, participants taking bupropion, another type of antidepressant known as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), had a 29% chance of experiencing reduced effects.
Previous antidepressant use
The study also explored the effects of psilocybin in individuals who had used antidepressants within two years before taking the psychedelic substance.
The data from 1,354 participants who used psilocybin after discontinuing antidepressants revealed that a substantial number of them reported weaker effects than expected during the first three months after discontinuation.
Specifically, approximately 32.7% of psilocybin experiences within the first week, 25.9% within the first month, and 23.3% up to three months post-discontinuation reported diminished effects.
Overall, nearly half of the participants who took psilocybin while on antidepressants experienced reduced psychedelic effects.
Moreover, the dampening effect of SSRIs and SNRIs on psilocybin seemed to persist for up to three months after discontinuation, even with drugs that have relatively short half-lives.
Interestingly, the study did not find any correlation between the dosage or duration of SSRI/SNRI usage and the reduced effects of psilocybin.
The authors of the study acknowledged some limitations, including potential inaccuracies in self-reported experiences, variance in the psilocybin content in mushrooms, and the lack of diversity in their predominantly white American sample.
Nonetheless, the study provides valuable insights into the potential interactions between antidepressants and psilocybin, especially considering the growing interest in using psilocybin as a potential therapeutic tool for various mental health conditions.
The field of psychedelic research is expanding rapidly, with psilocybin showing promise in various areas of mental health treatment.
However, further research is needed to address the challenges and potential adverse effects associated with using psilocybin in combination with other medications, such as antidepressants.
Sign up to our newsletter below for more Mushies magic…