So I briefly touched upon why I have to take an abnormally large dose of magic mushrooms in an earlier blog about Golden Teacher Spores. The reason I take 10g+ dosages is because of two medications I take, Quetiapine & Mirtazapine.
I am not a medical professional. Magic mushrooms are drugs. Your mileage may vary. Do not take my word as gospel. This entire blog post relates to my own experience and should not be used as a guide for your own journey.
A lot of people don’t understand that antidepressants & anti psychotics can counteract the affects of magic mushrooms because of the nature of what each of them do.
According to Wikipedia, Psilocin (the compound in magic mushrooms that makes us trip), is a Serotonin receptor agonist. Whaaaaa? Yes I agree, that sounded confusing so let me break this down for you. The neuropsychological effects of psilocin appear to be mediated by stimulation of serotonergic receptors (link). What do serotonergic (Serotonin) receptors do? Firstly, according to Medium.com, Magic Mushrooms activate a specific serotonin receptor known as 5 HT2A, which is responsible for perception, mood, imagination and a few other things. The magic mushrooms contain psilocybin which is converted to psilocin, the psychoactive substance, in the body.
Psilocin on a molecular level, is very similar to serotonin and it binds to the serotonin receptors in the brain, effectively lighting up pathways for neurotransmitters to fire making it like a flood of serotonin. Think of all of that dream like information firing on new pathways in the brain making the brain respond with hallucinations. There are lots of current studies ongoing aiming to figure out exactly how this happens.
Medication & Magic Mushrooms
Some medications can counteract the affects of magic mushrooms because of the way in which they work. Certain antidepressants (especially SSRI antidepressants) and antipsychotics can work against psilocin. So what is an SSRI? According to the NHS, SSRI’s are Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Quetiapine, also known as Seroquel is an antipsychotic used to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and major depressive disorders (link). That’s not to say everybody who takes it is psychotic. For example, I take it to help with borderline personality disorder. Quetiapine is believed to work by blocking a number of receptors including serotonin and dopamine (link).
Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which is an antagonist for D2 receptors and 5-HT2 receptors (link). Again, sorry for the technical jargon, let me simplify it for you… The 5-HT2 receptors are a subfamily of 5-HT receptors that bind the endogenous neurotransmitter serotonin (link). So Quetiapine works by doing the complete polar opposite of what psilocin does. This means that Quetiapine will also work against Psilocin and they can very often cancel each other out.
What to do?
So now that we know that certain (SSRI) antidepressants, Mirtazapine & Quetiapine can work against the affects of Psilocin, what choices do we have? I think this is completely dependant on your circumstances. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to stop taking your medication because that would be irresponsible of me and if you did stop taking them, that would be irresponsible of you.
It’s important to consult your GP/Pharmacist before discontinuing your medication. Please seek medical advise before doing so. Certain medications such as mirtazapine, quetiapine and other antidepressants can have severe withdrawal affects.
For me, I cannot come off my medication. Just missing one dose can have profound affects on my mental health and within 3 days I can spiral into rock bottom so it’s just not worth discontinuing my medication.
It’s important to remember that if you are trying to find your minimum dose, that you don’t over do it. Leave yourself a good break between trips. This is because you can build a tolerance. I wait at least 2 weeks between trips and it’s usually a few months between trips. As an example, I’ve not yet taken any mushrooms this year.
So now that we know the difference between what magic mushrooms do and how some medications can counteract the affects and prevent us having a decent trip. We can see that magic mushrooms convert psilocybin into psilocin in the body and that the psilocin binds to the serotonin receptors in the brain creating new neural pathways. The new pathways are firing an overload of sensory information causing us to trip. Certain medications such as SSRI’s, Mirtazapine & Quetiapine work against the affects of Psilocin. Our choices are to discontinue medication for either a period of time or permanently, depending on the advise of your pharmacist or GP, or to figure out a higher dose by gradually increasing the dosage of mushrooms over a period of time to figure out what our standard dose is.
Certain conditions mean we need to be on certain medications, so please do not discontinue any medications without speaking to a medical professional first.
I hope that this blog has been informative for you. If you have any suggestions or experiences, please leave a comment or email [email protected]. Don’t forget to check out our Golden Teacher Spores and our other magic mushroom spores.