Natural medicine is often spoken about in opposition to pharmaceuticals. What if natural substances and pharmaceuticals could be used together? To date, very little is known conclusively about this. New studies suggest that psilocybin and SSRIs might actually be safe to use together.
What does this mean? While research findings are preliminary, there is hope for those with depression. SSRIs, a common type of drug used to treat depression, helps combat symptoms. Psilocybe mushrooms have been found, for many patients treated, to address the root cause of depression while also alleviating symptoms.
New Findings About SSRIs and Psilocybin
Whenever any substance is combined with another, whether it’s natural or synthetic, there can be contraindications. When using medication with psychedelics like psilocybin, there can be adverse effects.
The credo of all health practitioners, from medical doctors to those who guide psychedelic journeys, is “do no harm.” Therefore, safety is of the utmost importance when treating patients. That being said, some have depression so severe that they are willing to try anything that might work, especially those who are resistant to medications like SSRIs.
A new study conducted by University Hospital Basel and Mind Medicine Inc. suggests that SSRIs and psilocybin can be safely used together. The study “gives a first indication that psilocybin is not only safe to take during escitalopram treatment, moreover, it has no relevant effects on the positive drug effects of psilocybin.”
What This Means for Future Treatment of Depression and Anxiety
While these findings are preliminary, if more research has the same findings, patients with depression and anxiety could have an easier time. Because it was expected that SSRIs would dampen the positive effects of psilocybin while increasing the adverse effects, it hasn’t been deemed safe to use the two medicines together.
Patients taking SSRIs like escitalopram typically experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking their medication, and this can slow down their treatment. If they could remain on the SSRIs while taking psilocybin, with the support of medical professionals, they could wean themselves off their medications while enjoying the long-term healing benefits of psilocybin.
More On How SSRIs and Psilocybin Could Work Together
Dr. Erica Zelfand, a licensed family doctor, ketamine provider, and psychedelic facilitator, was curious to know why we have to choose one substance over another. Why couldn’t both be used together safely when monitored and treated by medical professionals?
Dr. Zelfand performed a few case studies with patients to gather data on the usage of SSRIs and psilocybin.
While she discovered, like findings from the other preliminary study mentioned above, that more research is needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of these treatments, it appears that the two substances may be safe to use together.
Psilocybin has been found to alleviate the root cause of depression, sometimes after just a few treatments. While every patient is different, researchers are hopeful that these new findings could change the lives of so many who suffer deeply from depression and anxiety. Psychedelics have the potential to treat more than just these conditions, and you can learn more about psychedelic therapy here.
Serious conditions like depression and anxiety should never be taken lightly, and it’s important to receive professional treatment, especially when combining two or more substances. If research can conclude that pharmaceuticals like SSRIs can be used for acute symptoms while psychedelic medicines like psilocybe mushrooms can be used to treat root causes, this could change the lives of many, for the better.