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Is It Safe to Use Amanita Muscaria with Other Drugs and Medicines?

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Now that Amanita muscaria is hitting the mainstream, it is crucial to understand its interactions with other drugs. This mushroom has a complex chemical makeup, which is influenced significantly by its preparation method. Therefore, it could alter the activity of numerous medicinal and recreational substances.

This article explores the safety of using Amanita muscaria with other drugs and medicines, the potential health risks, and harm reduction strategies.

Amanita Muscaria and Its Psychoactive Properties

Amanita muscaria is primarily used for its psychoactive properties. High doses are hallucinogenic, while lower doses can be stimulating or relaxing, depending on how the mushroom is prepared. These varying effects are due to the mushroom’s complex chemistry, which we will discuss below.


Some people use Amanita muscaria for recreational or personal development purposes, but there is also growing interest in its therapeutic uses. Therefore, it is becoming essential to understand how it affects the body and mind and its potential interactions with other drugs.

Understanding Amanita Muscaria

Amanita muscaria’s key active compounds are ibotenic acid and muscimol. It also contains muscarine, although this chemical exists in tiny amounts and is not thought to impact the mushroom’s effects significantly.

Ibotenic Acid

Ibotenic acid is the primary active compound in raw Amanita muscaria and has a similar molecular shape to the neurotransmitter glutamate. It acts upon NMDA receptors in the brain and mimics the effects of glutamate.

Because glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, ibotenic acid has stimulating effects. However, it is also believed to have neurotoxic properties. Therefore, most people prefer to prepare their Amanita muscaria to contain as little ibotenic acid and as much muscimol as possible.


When Amanita muscaria is prepared in a specific way, ibotenic acid converts to muscimol, which has a similar molecular shape to the neurotransmitter GABA. It acts upon GABA-A receptors in the brain and mimics the effects of GABA.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, so muscimol has relaxing effects. It is also thought to have neuroprotectant properties and has been researched as a treatment for neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Risks of Combining Amanita Muscaria with Other Drugs

Because Amanita muscaria interacts with NMDA receptors and GABA-A receptors, there is a risk that it could interfere with other drugs that act similarly. It may also interact with muscarinic drugs due to the low levels of muscarine in the mushrooms. We will list some of the specific drugs and medicines that Amanita muscaria could affect in the next section.

There is also a potential risk to combining Amanita muscaria with other psychoactive substances as it could amplify their effects or cause unpredictable reactions. For example, there may be an increased risk of adverse effects such as psychological distress or psychosis.

Finally, Amanita muscaria could interact with various prescription medicines, interfering with drug metabolism or effectiveness. It could increase the risk of side effects or reduce the medication’s efficacy.

Therefore, if you take any prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, consult a physician before using Amanita muscaria. Moreover, combining this mushroom with other psychoactive drugs, plants, or fungi is not recommended.

Amanita Muscaria Drug Interactions

Some specific drug interactions to consider when using Amanita muscaria include stimulants, depressants, and other hallucinogens.

Although Amanita muscaria drug interactions have not been well-researched, it is possible that the mushroom could interfere with these substances, especially those that affect the glutamate and GABA systems. Amanita muscaria only contains small amounts of muscarine, but it is also worth considering interactions with muscarinic drugs.

Some examples of these three drug classes are listed below:

Drugs that affect the glutamate system:

  • Ketamine
  • Methadone
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Amantadine
  • Memantine

Drugs that affect the GABA system:

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Baclofen
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Propofol
  • Valproic acid
  • Pregabalin
  • Gabapentin

Muscarinic drugs:

  • Bethanechol
  • Carbachol
  • Pilocarpine
  • Methacholine
  • Neostigmine
  • Physostigmine
  • Galantamine
  • Donepezil
  • Rivastigmine
  • Edrophonium
  • Pyridostigmine

Some of the most dangerous interactions are with GABA-A agonists like alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates. Combining them with muscimol could increase the risk of potentially fatal cardiac and respiratory depression.

Potential Health Risks and Considerations

In addition to the potential interactions listed above, several other health risks are associated with using Amanita muscaria and other drugs together. For example, the mushroom can cause alterations in heart rate and blood pressure and so could interact with medicines used to treat cardiovascular conditions.


Amanita muscaria can also cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. This means that it could affect medications used to treat digestive disorders. Moreover, if a person vomits soon after taking medicine, it may be lost before it has a chance to enter the bloodstream. This will result in a missed dose, which could potentially be harmful.

It is also possible that someone could have an allergic or otherwise adverse reaction to Amanita muscaria, regardless of whether they are taking any other drugs or medicines. Therefore, it is essential to practice harm reduction strategies, especially when using the mushroom for the first time.

Precautions and Harm Reduction Strategies

The best way to stay safe while using Amanita muscaria is to consult a knowledgeable physician or another healthcare provider first. They will be able to determine whether it is likely to interact with any medicines you may be taking or exacerbate other health issues.

Always start with a low dose when using Amanita muscaria for the first time, and increase it slowly until you find what works for you. Most people consider it safer to use Amanita muscaria prepared to contain low levels of ibotenic acid and high levels of muscimol.

However, it is essential to remember that research into the long-term effects of Amanita muscaria is lacking. Therefore, it may be sensible to avoid regular and ongoing use until we understand this mushroom better.

Finally, if you use pre-manufactured products like amanita gummies or tincture, look for lab reports to confirm that they contain the desired active compounds and no other contaminants.

Using Amanita Muscaria with Other Drugs and Medicines: Final Thoughts

Research into Amanita muscaria is developing slowly, and we are just beginning to understand its active compounds and their effects. Therefore, much of the available information on its safe use with other drugs and medicines is based on deductive reasoning rather than clinical evidence.

Therefore, individuals should consult a professional before using Amanita muscaria to determine its suitability for them. Even then, it is critical to treat this mushroom with respect, start with the lowest possible dose, and always use amanita products responsibly.

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Published on: September 6, 2023

Lynn Marie Morski

Reviewed by Lynn Marie Morski, MD, JD, who is a president of the Psychedelic Medicine Association and host of the Psychedelic Medicine Podcast. She sits on the advisory boards of Psychedelics Today, Cybin, VETS, Inc (Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions), the Oxenberg Foundation, and the Ketamine Task Force.

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