June 4, 2023

✨ Learn How to Use Psychedelics:

Hi everyone i’m shelby hartman double blinds co-founder and editor-in-chief and i’m here today to talk to you about psychedelics and ssris this is one of the biggest questions we got from our readers a lot of people are on ssris for their depression and they want a trip they’re looking for a novel solution maybe they want a trip and stay on their ssris or maybe

They’re hoping to get off of their ssris altogether and they’re just not sure if it’s safe the first thing i’m going to say is that i’m not a doctor and this isn’t individualized medical advice if you’re thinking about going off of your ssris that’s a pretty big decision and it’s really important that you communicate with the prescribing doctor so that you can

Taper off of them effectively and can combat some of the side effects and withdrawals that can come along with tapering primary function of ssris is to inhibit the serotonin transmitter which increases levels of serotonin in the brain it’s true that we’re in desperate need of novel solutions for depression and mental health conditions in general in our country

But it’s also true that ssris help a lot of people it’s important to note if you’re thinking about doing psychedelics and on an ssri that many psychedelics do work on the same serotonin receptors that ssris do which means that if you’re on an ssri it could change the way that the psychedelic experience is or feels for you this includes classic psychedelics like

Psilocybin lsd and dmt it also includes mdma and ayahuasca because there isn’t a lot of information on the interaction between psychedelics and ssris or psychedelics and really any over-the-counter drugs there’s a psychopharmacologist by the name of benjamin malcolm who goes by spirit pharmacist who has put together as much information as he can based on what’s

Out there and he put together a chart which talks about the interaction of psychedelics and ssris now bear in mind the data is limited in it he basically recommends that if you are on paxil zoloft celexa lexapro or luvox and of course these drugs also have generic names as well that you should taper off of them for at least two weeks prior to your psychedelic

Experience and if you are on prozac you should wean off of that for at least six weeks before your psychedelic experience again i want to remind you that it’s really important that you don’t just taper off an ssri on your own or that you quit the ssri cold turkey you need to do it with the help of the prescribing doctor whoever that is suddenly reducing ssris

Without support or even with support can cause dizziness fatigue nausea irritability all kinds of symptoms that you need to be prepared for if you feel called to a psychedelic experience especially if your ssris aren’t working for you or they come with side effects that are really impacting your life then you know it could be worthwhile there are psychedelics that

Have shown incredible promise for treatment resistant depression psilocybin has been given breakthrough therapy status by the fda for depression and ayahuasca also was shown in one small clinical trial to have promise for treatment resistant depression but it’s worth noting that if you want to enroll in a clinical trial to do psilocybin or if you’re looking to go

To a retreat center to do ayahuasca and the amazon or something like that you likely won’t be accepted if you’re on an ssri simply for all these reasons that we’re talking about it’s worth considering too that if you’re curious about psychedelics but your ssris are working for you that it may not be worth tapering off an ssri just to have a psychedelic experience

Again i don’t know what you’re going through in your life i can’t give you individualized medical advice but it’s just to say that if you feel deeply called to a psychedelic experience and you think that it’s going to transform your life and you’re really struggling that it might be worthwhile but you know also like my mother says perhaps don’t fix it if it’s not

Broken as i mentioned before the research is limited there was one small study that was done in 1996 that was a self-reported study basically meaning it wasn’t you know double-blind randomized clinical trial but the subjects themselves were taking lsd while also on an antidepressant and 88 of them reported that the lsd experience was just significantly diminished

Basically muted not as strong in a previous study the same team of researchers found that patients who were on lithium or tricyclic antidepressants which are typically administered to people who don’t tolerate more traditional ssris well actually had a stronger lsd experience as a result of being on these drugs there’s been similar anecdotal reports about dmt

Simply that if you’re on an antidepressant and you do dmt the experience may not be as strong as if you taper off your ssri before the experience but again all of this has to be taken with a grain of salt because it’s what we call citizen science or anecdotal reports they’re not you know verifiable rigorous clinical trials that are being done with controls and peer

Reviews and everything else when it comes to mushrooms again similar reports to lsd and dmt not that there’s necessarily dangerous contra indications but simply that the experience isn’t as strong as if you taper off your ssri ahead of time again the data is limited so no guarantees here but this is just what we found from citizen scientists much like ayahuasca

There are legal psilocybin retreat centers abroad and many of them won’t take people if they’re on an ssri for example synthesis a retreat center in amsterdam won’t take you if you’re on an ssri but some retreat centers will and they’ll just be more cautious about the dose that they give you dr matthew johnson who is a well-known researcher at johns hopkins university

Says that he doubts that there would be a blunted effect on the psychedelic experience if someone were to taper off of their ssri for a few weeks before tripping take that for what it’s worth but his hypothesis is that you know if you take a psychedelic while you are actively taking an ssri that the experience will probably be blunted but you can simply just taper

Off for a few weeks and then you would have an experience much like anyone else who is going on a journey if you’re on an ssri will you still benefit from a psychedelic experience the answer is probably yes the experience might not be as strong might not be as profound but you will likely still feel it and you will likely still get something out of it so then

The question becomes you know do you want to taper off of your ssris that’s a pretty personal choice and again you have to take into consideration the fact that there’s limited information out there about potential risks and contraindications let’s talk for a minute about mdma mdma is not a classic psychedelic but it’s often grouped with them and according to dr

Julie holland who we interviewed for our story on psychedelics and ssris it is likely that much like the classic psychedelics if you’re on an ssri you will have a blunted response to mdma unlike the more classic psychedelics there’s some indication that it might actually be dangerous to combine the two this is because combining mdma and ssris could potentially

Lead to something called serotonin syndrome serotonin syndrome can happen when certain serotonergic medications or substances are combined causing the body to over produce serotonin so this can lead to extreme nerve cell activity symptoms that include confusion restlessness nausea vomiting loss of muscle control rapid heart rate and in some extreme cases seizures

And an uneven heartbeat something else to consider is that you can overdose on mdma and so if you’re on an ssri and you take mdma and you know you’re not having the experience that you want to have it could cause you to over consume which could be dangerous so that’s something to be very aware of serotonin syndrome is also potentially a concern when it comes to

Combining ssris in ayahuasca i want to caution that there’s no concrete evidence that this is true but you know it’s something that was widely believed in the ayahuasca community for a long time which is part of why if you try to go to a legal ayahuasca retreat center and you’re on an ssri they usually will not let you come the last thing i’ll say is that if you’re

Interested in having a psychedelic experience and you’re on an ssri you might want to consider ketamine because evidence has shown that it’s safe to combine ketamine and ssris at least in a legal context where you are being properly supported throughout your ketamine experience and that people who are on ssris can benefit from ketamine for their depression also

Of course one of the benefits of ketamine is that currently it is the only legal psychedelic medicine that can be taken in the united states and many other parts of the world where you can go to a ketamine clinic you can get a ketamine infusion ketamine treatments with the support of a therapist or a doctor who you’re really able to sit down with and discuss all

Of this with for more information on psychedelics you can check us out at doubleblindmag.com we also have classes with the world’s leading psychedelic experts to support you on every single part of your journey this is truly our life’s work and we’re here for you

Transcribed from video
Psychedelics and SSRIs | DoubleBlind By DoubleBlind