Mental illness is becoming a more talked about topic, which can help bring about more awareness to this subject matter. This awareness can help bring about a better understanding of different mental illnesses and taking care of one’s mental health. Along with this, advancements in mental health have also been going on.
Science and research have also done so much to help further our understanding of mental illnesses and treat them.
One perfect example of the progress in understanding mental health can be seen in depression and how treatment modalities are evolving. Currently, depression is being treated through medication and psychosocial therapy. But, unfortunately, these modalities aren’t practical for all people with depression.
That is why there are ongoing studies in hopes of finding a more suitable alternative treatment. This research for an alternative has led to the consideration of magic mushroom therapy. Based on the investigation so far, Psilocin pills may have the potential to replace Prozac.
What is Prozac?
Prozac is actually a brand name of fluoxetine, which is an antidepressant medication. Fluoxetine is under the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of antidepressants, which are the first-line drugs for depression. Just like its drug class implies, it inhibits the reuptake of serotonin.
The reason why SSRIs like Prozac are the first-line drugs for depression would be because of serotonin’s role in depression. Among the several explanations for this mental illness, serotonin levels in a person’s body have some role in depression.
Specifically, those with depression have been known to have low concentrations of serotonin in their body. Low levels of serotonin are also a predisposing factor to developing this illness as well.
To help mitigate this lack of serotonin, medication such as Prozac prevents your neurotransmitters from taking up serotonin after it’s released. This gives your neuroreceptors a chance to bind with serotonin again. In turn, this gives your brain more serotonin-related stimulation.
The News on Psilocin Pills and Prozac
While SSRIs like Prozac and other antidepressants are still being used to treat depression, they aren’t practical for all people with depression. Sometimes these medications don’t work because a person might have treatment-resistant depression.
In other instances, the medication could have been effective at first. But then, after the use of antidepressants over time, these could end up losing their effectiveness. This is a case of breakthrough depression—people who have been on antidepressants for 10 years or so can experience this.
Meanwhile, magic mushrooms have started to show some promise in doing what some antidepressants can’t. The psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, was effective in treating mental illnesses such as depression.
The reason why this was effective was that psilocybin was found out to be a serotonin agonist. By being a serotonin agonist, this substance is also able to bind to serotonin neuroreceptors. Due to this, psilocybin can also give a stimulus to the brain similar to what serotonin would provide.
While psilocybin is known to be a rather potent psychedelic, there is an even more concentrated substance. Psilocin, which is a metabolite of psilocybin, also shares the same effects.
However, while it is also a hallucinogen, it also has an affinity for serotonin receptors. In fact, this has a higher affinity for binding to these receptors. This makes it a potentially more effective alternative drug to use for depression.
Why Psychedelic Mushrooms are Better than Prozac
Current antidepressant medications are not without any side effects. For example, typical side effects of SSRIs such as Prozac include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and fatigue.
Aside from this, people also report weight gain after antidepressants are given to them. Prozac weight gain statistics, for example, say that about 25% of users experience gaining some weight after using antidepressants for a while.
While these side effects are usually well-tolerated, these can still cause people not to take their medication. This hesitancy in continuing with their antidepressant therapy is another reason why depression is not treated correctly in some people.
Magic mushroom therapy could be a more appealing alternative in light of this. These also do have side effects, such as hallucinations, alterations in sensory perception, and chances and appetite.
Despite these side effects, they may still be better tolerated than those of the standard antidepressant medication. Of course, these substances are still being studied to be better understood. Doing so can help us see any other side effects, such as magical weight gain. Studies could also help find out if microdosing for weight loss is practical too.
But, given its potential to be even more effective than current medication, the benefits could still outshine the side effects. On the other hand, studies could also find out the ideal doses which are the most effective with minor side effects. Either way, there’s so much potential in finding a better alternative treatment!
Are Psilocin Pills Legal?
Consuming psilocin through pills is another way to get it in your body without having to consume mushrooms. As it is already metabolized, it can ideally travel to your brain via your bloodstream right away. These psilocin pills could then give you their antidepressant effects.
Unfortunately, psilocybin and its derivatives are not legal all over the United States. It is a schedule 1 drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse and no currently approved medical usage. Until psilocybin is understood better, using psilocybin and byproducts such as psilocin pills is illegal. These are only permitted if used in a research setting.
So, until the research progresses, having and using psilocin pills or any other psilocybin preparation is illegal.
Drug Interactions between Psychedelics & Antidepressants
Aside from the side effects that the intake of psychedelics alone has, there are also the possible effects it has with other drugs. When it comes to antidepressants, the drug interaction psychedelics have with them varies.
With SSRIs, there might be a chance that magic mushrooms could overlap with their effects if taken together. Some studies have observed that taking SSRIs together with psilocybin can actually mitigate its psychedelic effects. But, unfortunately, the data is insufficient. So, more studies need to be done to see if these are true.
Another antidepressant is monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These prevent the degradation of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, keeping increased amounts of these in the body.
However, while psilocybin acts on serotonin neurotransmitters, there is still the possibility of unintended side-effects when combining them with MAOIs. That is why it’s recommended that you either refrain from taking the two together or take small doses of magic mushrooms.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) are another class of antidepressant drugs, which help keep increased levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. However, on their own, these antidepressants can already have side effects that can affect the heart. Due to these side effects, taking TCAs with magic mushrooms is not recommended.
While magic mushroom therapy shows some potential in becoming an effective alternative treatment for depression, these substances are still being studied. Not much is known about these drugs yet, which means that safety, effective dosages, and side effects are not entirely known.
Anecdotal evidence points to their ability to help those with depression, but these still need to be backed up by scientific evidence. This is to ensure it’s used safely and most effectively.
Could there be a time where psilocin pills end up becoming a standard treatment just like Prozac? Yes. It’s definitely a possibility. But, we still have a long way to go in terms of understanding these substances. So, until then, we have to wait and see what science will bring us.