Would Tricyclic Antidepressants Mess With Shrooms?
Mushrooms, Ginkgo biloba & Amitriptyline
Citation:   Mechanical Monad. "Would Tricyclic Antidepressants Mess With Shrooms?: An Experience with Mushrooms, Ginkgo biloba & Amitriptyline (exp117348)". Erowid.org. Sep 30, 2023. erowid.org/exp/117348

T+ 0:00
0.5 g oral Mushrooms - P. cubensis (tea)
  T+ 0:55 0.8 g oral Mushrooms - P. cubensis (tea)
  T+ 2:00 100 mg oral Ginkgo biloba (extract)
  T+ 24:00 0.6 g oral Mushrooms - P. semilanceata (dried)
  T+ 24:00 100 mg oral Ginkgo biloba (extract)
  T+ 24:00 1 g oral Acetaminophen  
  T+ 24:00 600 mg oral Pharms - Ibuprofen  
  T+ 0:00 40 mg oral Pharms - Amitriptyline (daily)
  T+ 0:00     Pharmaceuticals  
For the experience: Psilocybe cubensis & ginkgo biloba
Regular meds: Amitriptyline, Atacand, Telfast.
Other meds: Paracetamol, Ibuprofen

# Intention

A friend is hosting a mushroom ceremony in the wilderness tomorrow. I was unsure whether my prophylactic migraine medication would interfere.
I was unsure whether my prophylactic migraine medication would interfere.
There is little information online about tricyclic antidepressants in combination with psilocybin. I decided to try it out at home, where paramedics can reach me without a helicopter.

This report mainly documents the trial run, but I've added some notes from the ceremony itself.

# Preparation

Usually I set intentions and journal the day before, but this time there was not much in the way of preparation. I had hoped for a tripsitter, but when I couldn't get one in time I decided to go it alone.

I planned out a schedule for dosing (see below) and charted the expected impact. I was going to dose gradually and gauge the effects. Initially I planned on starting with 0.5 g, then boosting with 1.0 g and finally 1.5 g, but after looking at the time vs. effect chart I made, I got worried and decided to cut back to 0.5 g + 1.0 g + 1.0 g.

# Mindset

I've tripped many times before I started my medication. I felt pretty confident in my general tolerance of the psychedelic experience. I've survived many challenging trips, including some with severe, long-lasting anxiety attacks, and I usually experience a heavy body load. I generally use psychedelics as a tool for personal growth, rather than for fun and high vibes.

I had read that SSRIs diminish the effect of psilocybin. I reasoned that that would also apply to my daily migraine medication, since amitriptylin is a serotonin and noradrenaline (known in the USA as "norepinephrine") reuptake inhibitor, and a serotonin antagonist. I believed that reuptake inhibition would lead to higher serum levels of serotonin and noradrenaline, and eventually increased tolerance, and that the antagonism would counteract the agonist effect of psilocybin. (I did not know what to expect from the blood- pressure medication, and wasn't too concerned about it.)

My friend thought the effect would be increased, and recommended halving the dose. I had more faith in my own reasoning, but followed his advice out of caution.

The same morning I had a headache, so I took painkillers, but avoided triptan, in case its serotonergic effect would interfere with the psychedelics. (At the next day's ceremony this also happened, and there I did try the triptan, and it seemed be effective without side effects.)

Recently I and my SO have been exploring non-duality, specifically using Loch Kelly's book Shift into Freedom. I'd discovered "local awareness" and used it to observe my thoughts, feelings and sensations. Yesterday I reached a new point, experiencing "spacious awareness" for the first time, feeling that the rest of my self is safe and seen.

We'd also studied the Sedona Method, which revolves around "fully feeling" and "letting go" of persistent, painful feelings and lays out a series of questions to help that happen.

# Setting

Home alone (no tripsitter) in the comfy guest bedroom, with appropriately psychedelic wall decorations, plants, and a forest view. I had music from a friend's playlist (he runs a psychedelic clinic). My journal was available, and my phone was silenced.

# Dosage & timing

First dose at 10:15 in the morning (time "t").

t+0:00: 0.5 g Psilocybe cubensis, infused twice in hot water together with Greek mountain tea.
t+0:55: 0.8 g, same substance and method
t+2:00: 100 mg ginkgo biloba extract, tablet

As implied above, I decided to reduce the second dose from 1.0 g to 0.8 g, and skip the third dose, after seeing the unexpectedly strong reaction I had to the first dose.
I decided to reduce the second dose from 1.0 g to 0.8 g, and skip the third dose, after seeing the unexpectedly strong reaction I had to the first dose.

## Other substances:


* Telfast 120 mg (an antihistamine)
* Amitriptylin 40 mg (a tricyclic antidepressant/TCA, used to prevent migraines)

t-2:30: Atacand 16 mg (lowers blood pressure, used to prevent migraines)

t-1:30: Some painkillers:

* Paracetamol 1 g (known in the USA as acetaminophen or Tylenol)
* Ibuprofen 400 mg

## Ceremony:

* I took a single dose of 0.6 g Psilocybe semilanceata, which from previous experience I estimate to correspond to 0.9 g cubensis. I ate it dry.
* I took 100 mg of ginkgo biloba simultaneously.
* Shortly after dosing, a headache was coming on strongly, so I took

* Paracetamol 1 g
* Ibuprofen 600 mg
* Almotriptan 12,5 mg

# Physical effects

t+0:30: My head felt woozy and heavy. I was dizzy and my body was hot.

t+0:40: I started feeling quite nauseous. Time was moving very slowly.

t+1:00: Stomach was upset. I frequently needed to visit the toilet.

t+1:30: Felt very queasy. I was twisting and turning on the bed, couldn't quite get comfortable.

t+2:15: After the dose of ginkgo biloba (or maybe just because of being done with the come-up) I felt less nauseous and my guts seemed to calm down a bit.

t+3:45: Felt well and clear enough to go have a snack.

t+4:30: Felt well enough to take a walk in the nearby forest.

t+6:15: Another headache started coming on, and lasted the rest of the day.

t+7:15: Most effects had faded, but an afterglow remained the rest of the day.

My friend turned out to be right. The body load was way stronger than expected on 0.5 g + 0.8 g. The nausea, the intestinal upset, the wooziness, was more like I'm used to on 3.0 g. Other than that unpleasantness, there were no unusual adverse effects.

## Ceremony:

The initial, very strong headache and wooziness dissipated soon after taking the painkillers and triptan, and I felt physically fine.

The body load was near zero, so it seems the ginkgo biloba was very effective. The only adverse effect came after about two hours, when I felt a little nauseous and gulped up some of the mushrooms.

# Mental effects:

From previous trips I'm familiar with the "mind churning": thought loops that often revolve around past painful experiences, loneliness, and feeling useless. This was very much present this time. Remembering my non-duality work, I tried to look at these thoughts from "local awareness", and drop my "local awareness" into my body. This worked: temporarily I would feel lighter and more compassionate toward myself. When I was aware of my body, I felt a deep and satisfying "fullness", as if my spirit was completely inhabiting my body, even slightly "inflating" it. I went back and forth between painful thought-identification and self-compassionate openness probably a hundred times.

I tried to access the "spacious awareness" that I had experienced yesterday, but it was too difficult to focus enough to pull it off.

I was expecting and looking forward to the sensation of "fractals growing in my body" and getting a "deep internal massage in tense muscles". I used to experience these things even on low doses of mushrooms. This time these were completely absent.

Other than that, the psychedelic effect was substantially stronger than expected on 0.5 g + 0.8 g -- it felt like maybe 1.8 g in terms of the bodily "fullness" and mental "openness" mentioned above. Hallucinations were as expected on this dose: breathing walls, popping colors, pictures and patterns turn three-dimensional.

## Ceremony:

There was some mind churning when I was alone. (There was substantial periods of social interaction from time to time, which mostly kept me from ruminating). I could not focus on "local awareness" or "spacious awareness".

I noticed only a slight body high (no fractals). The forest looked more three- dimensional, like it was stretched toward me, and got that popping green color.

# Insights and problems:

## A worthless child

A memory appeared from 20 years ago. I was volunteering and met a 10-year-old boy who told me he was worthless and wished he were dead, or that I were his dad. At the time I had no idea what to tell him. What he was saying was pretty much the same thing I had felt as a child. I felt so sorry for him, but didn't know how to help. I felt quite useless myself.

Now, it became clear to me what I could say: "Who told you these things? They aren't true. You are worth more than the most precious diamond. That is the truth. Feel that in your tummy, in your heart. That's you, and you are worth everything." I felt an intense hope that he is alive and doing better today.

## Letting go

Since starting the Sedona Method, I'd struggled a lot with the concept of "letting go". What the hell does it mean!? During today's experience I was practicing the method, when a flash of insight told me that it's fundamentally about our thoughts letting go of it, and leaving it to Awareness to see and hold it.

## Problems

I had no particular problems, except the headache at the end.

# Conclusions

The tricyclic antidepressant appears to generally be harmless, but it severely affected the trip
The tricyclic antidepressant appears to generally be harmless, but it severely affected the trip

* It drastically increased the body load. I will continue to combine with ginkgo biloba to offset this.
* Psychedelic effect was substantially enhanced, but also modified, with a weakened body high and a strengthened mental openness. It's somewhat less enjoyable, but still worthwhile for personal growth.
* Hallucinations were as usual.

Exp Year: 2023ExpID: 117348
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 39
Published: Sep 30, 2023Views: 15
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Mushrooms - P. semilanceata (90), Ginkgo biloba (195), Mushrooms - P. cubensis (66) : Alone (16), Combinations (3)

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