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An Adverse Reaction to Psilocybin-Containing Truffles in a Quadriplegic Patient with a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury- Psilocybin

An Adverse Reaction to Psilocybin-Containing Truffles in a Quadriplegic Person with a Spinal Cord Injury


 In this trip report,  we explore the challenging experience of a quadriplegic participant (due to a spinal cord injury as a result of a traumatic car crash) who underwent an adverse reaction following the ingestion of psilocybin-containing truffles. 

This report aims to speculate on the complex medical factors contributing to the adverse reaction. More research is needed but we are putting this case study in the public domain to increase awareness of the potential adverse effects of psychedelics on people with Spinal Cord Injuries.

Preexisting Medical Conditions

Years before the psychedelic experience, the participant had been restricted to a bed for almost a year, following a serious car accident. They suffered a severe spinal cord injury and subsequently remained quadriplegic.

 The participant had addressed their preexisting health concerns before undertaking the psilocybin experience, had done research, knew the risks and were very interested in participating in the psychedelic experience.

Loss of Consciousness and Hospitalization

 About 90 minutes into the psilocybin journey (dosage was approx. the equivalent of 3.5 grammes of dried cubensis), the participant began to have difficulty breathing and began to lose consciousness. Emergency services were called and responded promptly and efficiently.

The participant subsequently regained consciousness several days later in a hospital setting, initially perceiving the experience as a dream. At this point, they exhibited impairments, including a lessened ability to speak and limited arm mobility. Furthermore, the patient reported experiencing psychedelic effects for approximately one week following the incident.

Causative Factors

 Upon reflection, several factors were identified as contributing to the loss of consciousness and subsequent medical issues. These are potential factors which warrant further research and investigation. 

The participant had reclined in a lazy-boy chair, a posture that deviated significantly from their usual positioning. Their dependency on antibiotics led to intense muscular spasms, notably affecting respiratory function and their capacity to ingest the truffle tea. Notably, their compromised spinal cord, stemming from the prior injury, limited the full neurological impact of psilocybin, rerouting the substance to the liver and kidneys, possibly resulting in liver intoxication and kidney issues.

Furthermore, the patient was concurrently taking Baclofen, a medication with potential interactions and adverse effects that warrant consideration. The patient possibly developed Autonomic Dysreflexia, further complicating the situation.

Another factor could have been the development of antibiotic dependency for managing recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). This dependency possibly led to an unexpected set of complications as their body became reliant on the medication. Another factor could have been exposure to COVID and pneumonia in the year previous to the psychedelic experience.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

 The participant’'s condition necessitated the immediate activation of emergency medical services, followed by several days in intensive care. Fortunately, their voice and arm mobility gradually returned over the course of several weeks spent in the hospital, complemented by a year of rehabilitation.

Insights and Future Considerations 

In conclusion, this report underscores the intricate interplay of medical factors that contributed to the adverse reaction during the exploration of psilocybin-containing truffles by a quadriplegic patient with a spinal cord injury. While this experience serves as a cautionary example, it does not negate the potential benefits of psychedelics for people with spinal cord injuries. The participant maintains their belief in the profound impact of such substances on human cognition and life experiences. The participant continues to integrate and find meaning in their psychedelic experience, which they see as one of the most significant of their lives.

This report encourages further scientific investigation into the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics, while emphasizing the importance of further research and risk mitigation in populations with Spinal Cord Injuries.

More recently, a paper has been published outlines potential adverse reactions of persons with Spinal Cord Injury to psychedelics


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