PHARMACOLOGY OF AYAHUASCA
Cases in which Ayahuasca is not recommended
We consider that Ayahuasca should not be used by people with schizoid and pre-psychotic personalities; and neurotics with an unstable sense of identity and high levels of anxiety (panic syndrome).
Since the 1960s, an era when various anti-depressive drugs and other agents which inhibit monoamine oxide were discovered, it’s been known that these substances should not be used alongside each other. (Anyone interested in further details is invited to look for references to this in the specialist literature or to get in contact with us.) We therefore consider that Ayahuasca should not be used alongside the following psycho-active drugs or medicines, unless the course of treatment has been ceased three weeks before the ceremony:
- Antidepressants which selectively inhibit the recapture of serotonin like: Fluoxetine (Prozac and others); Citalopram (Cipramil, Denyl and others); Paroxetine (Aropax, Cebrilin, Pondera, Paxil and others); Sertraline (Novativ, Sercerin, Zoloft and ohters); Trazodone (Desyrel and others).
- Tricyclic antidepressants like: Imipramine (Tofranil); Desipramine (Norpramine); Clomipramine (Anafranil and others).
- Antidepressants which have a dual or complex effect like: Venlaphaxine (Efexor);
- Substances whose method of action is not well established like: Lithium (Carboclim, Lithiocar, Neurolithium and others);
- Inhibitors of Monoamine Oxide like: Tranilcipromine (Parnate, Stelapar and others); Phenelzine (Nardil).
Because of their effect in raising blood pressure, we also recommend that those using psycho-stimulators like Ritalin should not take Ayahuasca.
Good sense suggests that for as long as we do not know the precise effects of each of the above-mentioned substances alongside the DMT and agents MAO inhibitors contained in a typical dose of the tea, the use of Ayahuasca by people who are taking those substances should not be encouraged.
Merely on the grounds of prudence, we also do not recommend in general the use of Ayahuasca for pregnant women (except under certain specific conditions as full knowledge and responsibility).