You should stop using any medication that is not necessary for life support. This includes any pharmaceutical products that work to suppress symptoms. It is best to stop using medications as much as three weeks before and after taking Aya, though as little as a few days is better than nothing. Most of the medications may be an unnecessary mixture into your Ayahuasca experience, which could reduce its healing potential or alter its effects.
It is important to trust that the Aya experience has the potential to cleanse the body, which can include healing that which causes your ailments. Some of the medications could also be dangerous in combination with Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is classified as MAOI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitor), meaning that it has specific interaction with some types of medication. Please check the Drugs to be avoided with Ayahuasca page, or consult the ceremony personal and/or your doctor about the interactions MAOIs may have with the medication you are taking. For examples, you should gradually stop taking any antidepressants, SSRIs, and mood stabilizers before an Ayahuasca experience, so that no traces of medication are present in the body at the time of the ceremony.
Important Notes (please read):
–Everybody is fully responsible for informing the organizers about past or current drug issues, any serious physical or psychological balance disorders, or current prescription medications.
–Persons who are under the treatment or being monitored by a psychiatrist, undergoing a course of psycho-pharmaceutical medicines or using drugs (e.g., heroin, cocaine, amphetamines) or have had the mentioned issues in the past, need to consult Soul Quest at least one month prior to attending the Ayahuasca ceremony.
–The use of other teacher plants or drugs (e.g., mushrooms, marijuana, DMT, LSD) is strongly unwelcome in most cases; please contact us in case of any questions.
–Please also contact us about any medication you may need to take prior the Ayahuasca ceremony.
–Consult us in advance in case you have untreated tuberculosis, weak heart or liver condition, or pregnancy or in case of any other health issues that may potentially interfere or be dangerous in combination with Ayahuasca.
If you have bipolar or schizophrenia Please read
It is also important to take psychological safety into consideration. People with personality disorders or a history of mental disorders (such as borderline, bipolar, schizophrenia etc) are at risk if they use ayahuasca. Soul Quest carries out a screening questionnaire for all potential guests that evaluates the presence of the above-mentioned risk factors. Ensuring a controlled context in which to work with ayahuasca, as well as adequate integration of the experience during and at the end of the workshop, are keys to reduce aya-related risks. Working with highly experienced healers and facilitators to ensure that issues are dealt with in a professional, caring and controlled manner is also a critical factor to reducing risks. We treat the safety of our guests as of utmost importance and ensure that all measures, including 24-hour supervision, are adopted as and where necessary.
Provided the above precautions have been diligently taken, working with aya is safe. Fortunately in seven years and having facilitated healing journeys for over 4000 guests, we have an exemplary track record and no serious issues (physically or psychologically) have ever arisen.
There are certain medications that must be avoided with Aya, which acts as an MAOI, as they can be potentially life-threatening. This includes interaction with pharmaceutical drugs and medications, as well as some over-the-counter drugs and certain herbs. In particular, the combination with other MAOIs and other serotonin agonists or precursors poses a severe risk of causing a life-threatening serotonin syndrome episode. These include:
–SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
–Antihypertensive/high blood pressure medicine
–Appetite suppressants or diet pills
–Medicines for asthma, bronchitis, or other breathing problems
–Medicines for colds, sinus problems, hay fever, or allergies (any drug containing dextromethorphan/DXM, or that has DM, DX, or Tuss in its name)
–CNS (central nervous system) depressants (e.g., Xanax, Ativan)
Some illegal and recreational drugs are VERY dangerous to combine with Aya, including:
–Cocaine, amphetamines, and ephedrine
–MDMA (Ecstasy), MDA, MDEA, PMA
–Opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine, opium)
There are other illegal or recreational drugs that can be dangerous to combine with Ayahuasca, such as:
–Mescaline (any phenethylamine)
Please see our Safety Guidelines for more detailed information about the use of medications with Ayahuasca.
The Ayahuasca Safety Council also notes that some specific pharmaceutical drugs should not be combined with Ayahuasca (some are mild risks, others serious).
Please consult the complete list of drugs that are contraindicated for the use in combination with Ayahuasca if you are interested in participating in a ceremony.