top of page

Medical Guidelines

I want to inform you about general medical guidelines for your own safety and the safety of all participants.

 

In case you are on some of the mentioned medications, speak with your doctor about your situation. If approved by your doctor, stop the medications in the timeframe mentioned here.

 

These are fundamentally important issues, so please be honest in the case that any of these issues apply to you. You can always speak to me in case you have doubt or you still think the retreat could be a healing option for you. 

  • Any medication that contains Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s). These medications are known to cause dangerous side effects when taken in conjunction with ayahuasca. It is critical that you stop taking these drugs and allow plenty of time for your system to be cleared of these substances. Talk to your doctor before stopping them.
     

  • Any medication which has an effect on the serotonin system, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) (i.e. antidepressants such as Wellbutrin, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, etc). Combining these medications with ayahuasca can induce serotonin syndrome – far more severely than with foods containing tryptophan, and with potentially fatal results. We advise you to stop taking SSRI medications six weeks prior to a retreat to allow the system to clear in time; some of these drugs may cause side effects when you stop taking them, and you should allow plenty of time for these to subside. You should not abruptly stop taking them without discussing the matter with your doctor.
     

  • Please note that the herbal antidepressant St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) also must not be taken directly prior to working with ayahuasca, although the system can clear this in 2 weeks before commencing a workshop.
     

  • Other medications you must suspend taking are decongestants, cold medications, allergy medications, antihistamines, sedatives, tranquillizers, amphetamines (including Adderall), some hypertensive medications, sympathomimetic amines including pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, carbamazipine, methylphemidate (Ritalin), macromerine, phenelanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, asarone/calamus, asthma inhalers and diet pills. Always consult your doctor in any case of doubt. You need to stop these medications at least 2 weeks before.
     

  • Ayahuasca has not been found to cause psychosis, but it can be dangerous to those with a history of psychological problems. Please tell us, in confidence, about any history of mental health problems. I need to know before you register about psychosis, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia or any symptoms which fall in these categories.
     

  • If you have any issues with your heart or chronic high blood pressure you cannot be accepted on a workshop.
     

  • It is not safe to drink ayahuasca when you are pregnant.
     

  • Special note to diabetics: MAOIs may change the amount of insulin or oral anti diabetic medication that you need. If you are diabetic, please contact first a medical professional who is familiar as well with ayahuasca.
     

  • Please inform me if you have had suicidal situations in your life. I would like to know about this beforehand, to support you as best as I can through the retreat.

bottom of page