Ayahuasca and other drugs
Ayahuasca is an intense psychedelic. It’s intense enough on its own. Combining doesn’t make it a better or more intense experience. However, it does increase the chance of a difficult experience. And the combination of MAO inhibitors with other drugs or medications can be very dangerous. Or at best give additional side effects. So not recommended.
MAO inhibitors ensure that certain drugs or medicines are not broken down in the body. They therefore remain in the body longer, which prolongs the effect and increases the risks.
Ayahuasca and Stimulants
MAO inhibitors ensure, among other things, that MDMA, cocaine and amphetamine are broken down less. This creates dangerously large amounts of serotonin between the brain cells. This can cause serotonin syndrome. Among other things, the body heats up so much that you can die. But there are also excessive amounts of dopamine and noradrenaline, which poses all kinds of risks. An example is high blood pressure.
The use of all stimulants such as MDMA, cocaine and amphetamine in the days before and after ayahuasca is therefore strongly discouraged. It can take days for the last MDMA to leave your body, so make sure you are sober for at least 3 days before taking ayahuasca. This also applies to ADHD medication (Ritalin, methylphenidate; dexamfetamine), for example.
Ayahuasca and psychedelics
MAO inhibitors can also be risky in combination with psychedelics. This can pose similar risks to stimulants. It is not well known how they work in the brain for many more exotic psychedelics.
Examples of risky psychedelics in combination with MAO inhibitors are: 2C-B (and other 2C variants such as 2C-I and 2C-E), NBOMe’s, DOC (and other DO variants such as DOM and DOB), 2C-T- 2 (and other 2C-T variants), ketamine, methoxetamine, DXM and 5-MeO-DMT (and other 5-MeO variants). Combination use is not recommended.
Cannabis can enhance the effect of ayahuasca. It poses little physical risk. However, smoking cannabis can suddenly send a trip in a different direction. This can make the experience more difficult. So before you start smoking cannabis, think about whether it will make the experience better. If not, then leave it.
Ayahuasca and medicines
Many drugs interact with MAO inhibitors. Inform yourself well if you are taking medication.
Antidepressants are especially at risk. Both SSRIs and MAO inhibitors increase the release of serotonin and stays active between brain cells for a longer period of time. This can cause serious problems, such as serotonin syndrome or life-threatening overheating.
ADHD medications can also pose a risky interaction with an MAOI. See the information under stimulants.
If you are taking ADHD medication and want to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony, please discuss this with your doctor or general practitioner. Because there is a difference in how quickly a drug leaves your body, it is difficult to say how long in advance you should stop taking your ADHD medication and how long you should wait after the ceremony before you can start taking your ADHD medication again. But it is probably wise not to take your ADHD medication for several days beforehand. And several days afterwards.
If someone is on antipsychotics because he or she has had a psychosis or other psychological problems, it is strongly advised not to take ayahuasca. However, if someone is mentally stable and uses antipsychotics for another reason that is not related to psychological stability, it is advisable to stop taking the medication several days before and after. But always do this in consultation with your doctor or general practitioner.
The use of many pain medications is dangerous in combination with MAO inhibitors. This can cause serotonin syndrome. It is also sometimes risky to just stop pain medication. Always do this in consultation with your doctor or general practitioner.