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Hi All... I was reading about MAOI's here on the shroomery, and I had a couple quick questions. First, are ALL antidepressants MAOI's? If not, can someone tell me if the antidepressant Amitriptyline is an MAOI? If it is, how many 100mg tablets would one have to take to double the effects of a trip? Any responses are greatly appreciated!
Okay, well I decided to stop being lazy and try to find the answer to my own question... I did a search for Amitriptyline and found that it is not an MAOI. I was distressed b/c that was the only possible MAOI that I would have access to, but then I did a search for herbal MAOI's. The first site that came up was about St. Johns Wort, which it says IS an MAOI... Does anyone have experience with using this instead of a prescription MAOI? Will it have the same effects? And how much should you take? Thanks!
I did a journal search on St Johns Wort for you since i wasn't convinced that it was actually a MAOI, these paper summaries sum up the current understanding of its effects. I don't think it would be wise or effective to use St Johns Wort to potentiate mushrooms. The idea is that St Johns Wort is a complex combination of varied and subtle effects on brain function which, i think, provide a 'holistic' treatment of deppression, an 'approach' that i think is ultimately infinitely more powerful than the current one drug/ one disease predominant attitude to medicine. Maybe it will have some subtle/ bizarre twisting of your mushroom expereince if it is taken reguarly for a few weeks beforehand, but i don't imagine it is what you are after, and i wouldn't recommend the risk of taking an antideppressant if you are not depressed. When you take Syrian Rue you are 'benefitting' from its immediate and acute effects, that is- the inhibition of a stomach enzyme which normally breaks down a proportion of the ingested drug, and therefore increases the concentration of drug you experience- as well as some psychedelic effects of the rue itself. These are a result of other properties of the drugs in the Rue, unrelated to their MAOI activity, that is their binding to various other receptrors in the brain (can't think what right now though). Other MAOIs would not necessarily have these effects but would still increase the concentration of drug that you experience. If you took St Johns Wort to alter the mushroom trip you would most likely have to rely on chronic alterations of your brain chemistry resulting from long-term (i.e. weeks) use of the drug.
OBJECTIVE: To review preclinical information related to possible antidepressant mechanism(s) of action of St. John's wort in order to address the issue of whether its purported clinical effectiveness has a rational pharmacologic basis.
DATA SOURCES: Primary and review articles were identified by a MEDLINE search (1966-January 1998) and through secondary sources. Many of the original German articles had English abstracts, but where necessary, German articles were translated into]English. The results: of a new screen of hypericin activity at receptor and uptake sites are summarized.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: All Of the articles identified from the data sources were evaluated and all information deemed relevant was included in this review.
DATA SYNTHESIS: The neuropharmacology of St. John's wort has been examined in only a few studies. A mechanism similar to that of the synthetic antidepressants, such as the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors or monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, might play a role, but other mechanisms are possible.
CONCLUSIONS: Hypericum extracts have only weak activity in assays related to mechanisms of the synthetic antidepressants, that is, inhibition of MAO, catechol O-methyltransferase, or serotonin reuptake. It has been postulated that the clinical efficacy of St. John's wort could be attributable to the combined contribution of several mechanisms, each one too weak by itself to account for the overall effect. The recent demonstration of a significant affinity of hypericin for sigma receptors presents new possibilities for consideration.
And also this one-
The influence of hypericin, hypericum total extract and hypericum fractions on the activity of MAO and COMT, prepared in vitro from pork liver, were investigated in several concentration steps. An inhibition of MAO could be shown in the following concentrations (extract correlated to a mean molecular value of 500): hypericin to 10(-3) M, hypericum total extract to 10(-4) M, one extract fraction up to 10(-5). A COMT inhibition could not be shown for hypericin, with hypericum extract to 10(-4) M and with two extract fractions also up to 10(-4) M. The MAO inhibiting fraction contained hypericins as weil as flavonoles, the COMT-inhibition fraction being mainly flavononoles and xanthones. The concentrations of inhibition shown might not be sufficient to explain the clinically proven antidepressive effect of hypericum particularly with regard to the inhibition of the MAO activity.