Posted by pinksharkmark (126.96.36.199) on January 23, 2002 at 13:02:07:
In Reply to: i need some info posted by sean on January 23, 2002 at 10:33:43:
There is a site put together by some people who frequent this message board that has a TON of information on the use of magic mushrooms or LSD for treating Cluster Headaches.
The main page is here:
Archived posts and commentary from clusterheads (many thanks to Ueli for collecting them all!) who have tried the therapy are listed here:
So far there is nothing else out there that we know of that even comes CLOSE to having their success rate. For episodic sufferers, the reported success rate is virtually 100 per cent. Even for chronic sufferers it is around 80 per cent. I know of only ONE episodic who had the mushrooms fail for him, and I know of NO ONE who has had LSD fail.
The reason that most clusterheads take the mushrooms rather than LSD is because it is very easy to grow your own mushrooms in about six weeks. By growing your own you can be assured that you are getting the real thing, and you don't have to expose yourself to the risk of getting ripped off on the black market, or having an irate bull chase you out of the cow pasture, or even possibly getting busted. But, if you know of a reliable source for quality LSD, then that is the route that I would choose. Why wait six weeks for mushrooms if you can get LSD in days?
For most episodic clusterheads, a single small dose (about half the amount of the standard "recreational" dose) is enough to stop a cycle dead in its tracks. This is reassuring for those who have never experienced psychedelics before... no need to get high as a kite and risk a possible bad trip... just take enough to produce the equivalent of a two or three beer "buzz". For some episodics, particularly those who are right at the peak of a particlularly vicious cycle, it is necessary to do a second, somewhat larger dose 4 or 5 days after the first one in order to get complete remission. I know of only one episodic who required a third dose, and it is likely that if he had just waited a few more days, the headaches would probably have faded away without the third dose.
The psychedelics work best if taken right at the very beginning of a new cycle, before The Beast has had a chance to get much of a toehold. In your case this is no longer an option, but as you can see from the archived posts, the majority of episodic clusterheads, even those in mid-cycle, have had great success with just a single dose. Hopefully this will be true in your case as well.
Your next cluster cycle will start again at its regularly-scheduled time, though... if you normally get them once a year, then a year later they will start again. The psychedelics are not a permanent CURE for CH, just as insulin is not a permanent cure for diabetes.
There are certain drugs we KNOW will block the action of the psychedelics: any of the ergot-based compounds such as DHE, ergotamine tartrate, cafergot, Sansert, etc. as well as the first-generation antipsychotics such as Thorazine. There are other drugs that we are PRETTY SURE will block the action of the psychedelics: Imitrex, Maxalt, Amerge, Zomig, and most likely any of the other triptans. There are a number of other serotonergic drugs that will PROBABLY interact with the psychedelics, such as Depakote, Topamax, and any of the tri-cyclic antipsychotics. Lithium will make the "trip" stronger, but we have only a single report of someone taking mushrooms while on Lithium, and the mushrooms still worked for him... he just had a VERY intense trip... much more than he bargained for.
There are some drugs that will PROBABLY NOT interfere with the psychedelics: barbiturates, Verapamil, prednisone, antihistamines, oxygen. Opiates such as codeine, Vicodin, Oxycontin, percodan, Ultram, etc., will probably lessen but may not completely block the effects of psychedelics.
A very big problem we face is that the last medical studies of the psychedelics were done in the late Sixties and early Seventies, before criminalization. Many of the drugs I listed above did not even exist at the time these studies were done, so we have no clinical data to speak of that we can rely on, only the reports from the clusterheads that have tried this therapy in the last two years. This is why I can't tell you FOR SURE every single drug that may cause the psychedelics to fail.
Because of these possible interactions, it is essential to be as med-free as possible for at least several days before taking mushrooms or LSD. I SUSPECT that the verapamil would not affect the psilocybin one way or the other, but I would not care to defend that opinion in court. It is known that verapamil does have some activity at certain types of 5-HT receptors, but I THINK that these are different receptors than the ones that the psychedelics bind to. We just don't have enough data available to us yet to be able to say with certainty one way or the other.
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