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Study Suggests SNRIs, SSRIs Reduce Effects of Psilocybin

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Findings from a recent study have revealed that SSRI and SNRI use may weaken the effects of psilocybin (magic mushrooms). The researchers were specifically interested in the extent to which antidepressants could diminish the effects of psilocybin when they were taken alongside the psychedelic and after antidepressant use is halted.

Psychedelics are predicted to revolutionize the psychiatric industry in a major way due to their purported mental health benefits. A series of studies have found that psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, MDMA and LSD may be able to treat mental conditions  anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even eating disorders.

If the FDA approves the use of psychedelic-based treatments, psychedelics could replace selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) as primary psychiatric medications.

Psilocybin has proven to be especially effective at treating major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression, offering patients in clinical trials relatively long-term relief with barely any serious side effects. Given the increasing mainstream popularity of psilocybin, the new study was designed to determine how the psychedelic would react with traditional antidepressants.

The team found that SNRIs and SSRIs may have a dampening effect on psilocybin, which could diminish the psychedelic’s effects for up to three months after the patient stops taking antidepressants. The researchers conducted an online retrospective poll of 2,153 people who had taken antidepressants while using psilocybin and individuals who had taken magic mushrooms within 24 hours of discontinuing antidepressant use.

The 611 individuals who reported using psilocybin while taking conventional antidepressants said that psilocybin’s effect was weaker than they expected. Members of this group indicated that they were also on either bupropion, SSRIs, or SNRIs when they used psilocybin. The remaining 1,542 individuals who had stopped using antidepressants at the time they took psilocybin also reported weakened effects.

Interestingly, the probability of experiencing weaker psilocybin effects was not that different between people who had ceased antidepressant use a week before taking psilocybin and people who had stopped taking antidepressants three to six months before using psilocybin. Even individuals who had stopped taking antidepressants several months prior experienced weaker effects, indicating that antidepressants take some time to clear out of the system completely.

The researchers concluded that SSRI/SNRI antidepressants can dampen the effects of psilocybin while nonserotonergic antidepressants don’t seem to have a similar dampening effect on psilocybin. These findings could have implications for subsequent psilocybin clinical studies depending on whether the participants are taking antidepressants or have stopped antidepressant use in the recent past.

Companies that are studying various psychedelics with a view to developing medicines from them, such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL), are likely to bring to light even more insights into how these substances work and how they could interact with other medications.

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