Updated: Dec 23, 2022
So you have heard about the magic of microdosing. You are likely reading this article, because you are hoping microdosing can help you with your anxiety, depression, PTSD or other mental health challenges. But perhaps you are already consuming an antidepressant or other pharmaceutical drug. So can you microdose mushrooms while taking antidepressants?
Well to start, we need to say that we are not doctors, nor is this to be taken as medical advice. This is strictly educational. We encourage you to do your own research and speak directly with your healthcare provider. If you are taking antidepressants, or if you are considering tapering off of them, please speak to your healthcare provider.
Now that is out of the way… Lets continue on with the article!
The Complexities of Mental Health…
Mental health is highly complex. If it were simple, we would not be experiencing a mental health crisis. Unfortunately, many people suffer everyday from anxiety, depression, PTSD and other challenges. It seems popping a pill, whether an antidepressant or otherwise, is not the quick fix so many people hope for.
In fact, some people find the side effects of antidepressant medication outweigh the benefits. So naturally, people are turning to alternative therapies, such as microdosing mushrooms as well as taking larger amounts of psychedelics. The results are proving to be phenomenal, and in other cases, nothing short of a miracle.
In nearly all mental health cases, there are emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual components to take into account.
Often people with mental health issues suffer from emotional trauma, particularly from childhood. This can be as severe as sexual or physical abuse, to something as seemingly “small” as parents getting a divorce or small examples of neglect. Trauma is not always one single extreme isolated event, it can also be a string of prolonged “small” traumatic experiences. Emotional trauma is complex and we are still learning about it. Gabor Mate speaks of emotional trauma as the experience of being alone in one’s pain, especially when that pain is overwhelming.
Mental components often are colored by emotions, and vice versa. The main is a great slave, and a terrible master. When the mind in all it’s beliefs and patterns is in control, it is easy to become depressed and anxious. Often, one’s mental beliefs and habits will shape our perceptions and experiences of the world. If someone has experienced childhood trauma, then there is a mental belief and imprint that the world is not safe. The mind will become hyper vigilant of every potential “danger”, and the nervous system can become chronically in “fight or flight” mode.
The mind, emotions and body are interwoven. Physical components of mental health are just as real as any other. Did you know that the vast majority of your immune system and your neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, are produced in the gut? When your gut is inflamed and unhealthy due to stress, diet and parasitic / bacterial / fungal infections, your mental health is impacted negatively. Your gut will not produce the necessary neurotransmitters for your to be healthy and joy. Furthermore, the toxins released from an unhealthy gut can cross the blood brain barrier, and literally make your brain inflamed.
There are many ways to speak of spirituality. A simple and easily relatable definition is a connection to something greater than oneself. Some people call this Spirit, others call it God or Creator, or the Universe. Some people feel this in connection to the natural world. Whatever it may be, feeling disconnected from the web of creation - whether it be God or the Earth - has serious repercussions on one's mental health and wellbeing. It is no small wonder that ex-addicts often find this connection as a core piece of their healing process. In fact some would argue that once you have integrated this connection on a fundamental level, and your Spirit is whole and healed, mental health issues are no longer possible.
Why People Are Turning to Microdosing
Microdosing mushrooms has a capacity to renew our health on all levels. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It is not a cure all, however it can be an amazing ally and support on one’s healing journey. It is safe and effective, and there is little to “lose” by giving it a try. How is this possible one might ask?
Microdosing mushrooms can support people in healing their physical nervous tissue - which is found not only in the brain but also in large amounts in the gut and the heart (often referred to as our second and third brains).
Mushrooms offer a doorway into the unconscious mind, helping people to track and become aware of suppressed emotions and traumas.
Microdosing can help people to create new patterns of thoughts, beliefs and habits, changing the way you relate to the world around you into a more positive direction.
Psilocybin has an amazing capacity to reconnect us with out innate connection to “Spirit”, “God”, and The Earth. In this way, mushrooms can support us in renewing and remembering our innate spiritual connection to the world around us.
Is It Safe To Microdose With Antidepressants, and other Pharmaceuticals?
So, microdosing sounds like the perfect match and potential solution if you are suffering from mental health issues… But is it safe to microdose while consuming antidepressants?
Although research is still being conducted on the safety of psilocybin in both macro (large) doses, and microdoses, so far the evidence suggests that microdosing is extremely safe, even if you are consuming antidepressants or other pharmaceuticals. However, some important notes include…
If you are taking lithium, we recommend avoiding psilocybin in all of its forms. There is evidence that combining lithium with psilocybin can cause heart problems and potential heart attacks. Of course, this risk is greatly reduced when microdosing, It is still not recommended to combine lithium and psilocybin, even with microdosing. Use at your own risk!
Tramadol and Antidepressants (SMS, SARI, SSRI, SNRI, MAOI)
These drugs work through your serotonin system. Some people who are taking these drugs in conjunction with microdoses, have reported that the effects of psilocybin are greatly reduced. For our experience, if you are consuming any of the above drugs, you may need a higher microdose in the range of 200mg-300mg in order to experience results.
An important note that in some very rare cases, combining Tramadol or SMS/SARI with psilocybin could lead to “serotonin syndrome”. This is highly unlikely, however it is good to be aware of it, and to do more research if you are consuming these drugs.
NRI/NDRI (Wellbutrin, Zyban, Ritalin, Concerta, etc.)
There are no reports of complications when combining psilocybin with NRI or NDRI. However, it is recommended that if possible you reduce the dose of any other psychoactive substances on the days that you are microdosing (Consult your doctor first). In this case, you may consider microdosing less often than 5 days on / 2 days off. Microdosing once or twice a week could work better if you are consuming NRI or NDRI, and you plan to reduce your dosage on microdosing days.
There are no known contraindications between psilocybin and other pharmaceuticals. Of course, research is in early stages, so consult your doctor first. Microdosing is generally a safe approach, as it is such a small quantity of psilocybin.
Reducing Antidepressants With Microdosing
One of the benefits people experience while taking microdoses and antidepressants, is that they can begin reducing or weaning off of their antidepressant drugs. Often people find they simply do not need the same quantities of antidepressants while they are microdosing. Furthermore, because microdosing offers similar benefits as an antidepressant, it makes it far easier to slowly wean off antidepressants in conjunction with microdosing therapy.
That being said, do not try weaning off any pharmaceuticals without your doctor's guidance. Even though you may feel great while microdosing, it is important to go slow and not to rush. The system builds a reliance on antidepressants and weaning off of them can be complex and difficult, especially if they have been used for many years.
So to conclude, can you microdose mushrooms with antidepressants? Yes. It is generally safe and effective. That being said, be aware that combining psilocybin with your antidepressants has the (rare and unlikely) chance of causing serotonin syndrome. If you are consuming a lithium based drug, refrain from microdosing and psilocybin, as mixing the two could lead to heart problems or potentially heart attacks.
The good thing about microdosing is that you are consuming a very small quantity of psilocybin. This greatly reduces the potential contraindications with drugs and pharmaceuticals. Of course, even before microdosing be sure to consult your healthcare provider if you have other health problems or you are taking prescription drugs.