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Psilocybin Mushrooms
Fatalities / Deaths
by Erowid
Death from the use of correctly-identified psilocybin mushrooms are extremely rare. With around 2-5% of the US population under 55 having tried a psilocybin mushrooms and around 4.4% of 18 year olds in 2012 having tried psilocybin mushrooms (Monitoring the Future, 2012, volume 1, figure 5-4g), there are millions of uses of psilocybin mushrooms just in the United States every year. Until the 2012 paper by Lim et al. (see below), Erowid was unaware of any documented fatalities attributable to the pharmacological effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. There are a number of fatalities associated with misidentified poisonous-lookalike wild mushrooms that individuals took thinking they were taking magic mushrooms and instead were poisoned, but even these are extremely uncommon.

If you know of a confirmed fatality that is not listed on this page, please let us know.

Pharmacological fatalities are those deaths caused by the direct action of a plant or drug in the body, not including deaths caused by accidents or as a result of inebriated behavior.

Incident: Anonymous Female, 2012 #
In 2012, a 24-year-old female died following a cardiac arrest 2-3 hours after consuming magic mushrooms. She had received a heart transplant 10 years prior. Six months before her death she had had a clinic review and was "well with no physical limitations". The plasma levels reported in the autopsy suggest a fairly high dose of psilocybin-containing mushrooms.
Lim TH, Wasywich CA, Roygrok PN. "Letter to the Editor: A fatal case of 'magic mushroom' ingestion in a heart transplant recipient". Internal Medicine Journal. Nov 19, 2012 (online).1268-9.
Autopsy confirmed a healthy cardiac allograft (no allograft vasculopathy). Plasma toxicology revealed a psilocin level of 30 mg/L (consistent with magic mushroom toxicity) and a tetrahydrocannabinol level of 4 mg/L. No alcohol or other common drugs of abuse were detected. [...] Only two deaths have been previously reported directly attributable to magic mushroom ingestion ... We postulate that in this case excessive sympathetic stimulation of the transplanted heart as a result of Psilocybe mushroom toxicity led to fatal ventricular arrythmias."
Incident: Anonymous Female, 1996 #
One death (commented on by Lim, Wasywich, and Roygrok) was reportedly the result of "neurological sequelae (somnolence and convulsions) 6-8 h after ingestion of an unknown quantity of magic-mushrooms". Post-mortem toxicology revealed very high plasma psilocin concentration (4000 mg/L).
Gerault A, Picart D. "Intoxication mortelle à la suite de la consommation volontaire et en groupe de champignons hallucinogeèes". Bull Soc Mycol France 1996;112: 1-14.
Incident: Anonymous, Date Unknown #
An early death (commented on by Lim, Wasywich, and Roygrok) of which "details [...] are scanty".

Buck RW. "Mushroom poisoning since 1924 in United States". Mycologia 1961;53:537-8.
None known. (unconfirmed)

None known. (unconfirmed)

None known. (unconfirmed)

LD50 #
It is extremely difficult to determine an LD50 for a drug in humans. LD50s are only ever experimentally determined in animals, and extrapolations from one species to another for lethal dose are notoriously unreliable.