Psilocybin is the active compound in magic mushrooms. This naturally occurring compound has been gaining attention in the medical community for its potential therapeutic benefits.
However, more large-scale research is necessary to help confirm the effects of this compound. And while there are promising results, some people report side effects from its use, including headaches.
This article looks at psilocybin migraine and if they are a concerning phenomenon.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic substance that comes from certain types of mushrooms. Indigenous cultures have used these “magic mushrooms” for centuries for their spiritual and religious properties.
Psychedelics are a class of drugs that produce changes in perception, mood, and cognition. They appear to work by binding to and activating serotonin receptors in the brain.
Another small study from 2021 asked 14 participants to keep a headache diary. The researchers gave some participants psilocybin, while others had a placebo. Those who took psilocybin saw a significant reduction in the number of migraine days over the course of a week. Researchers also report that there were no serious adverse or unexpected side effects following withdrawal from psilocybin after the study’s conclusion.
It seems like psilocybin may be a viable option for treating migraine. However, more research is necessary to clarify its potential therapeutic effects.
No, it does not seem that psilocybin causes migraine. However, it may trigger headaches in susceptible individuals.
The same researchers conducted a further study in 2011. It looked at the effect of various psilocybin doses on headaches in 18 healthy participants. They found that the compound frequently caused headaches. Furthermore, the incidence, duration, and severity increased in line with the dose. The transient headaches had a delayed onset but lasted no more than a day after administering psilocybin.
The research suggested that the delayed headache may be due to nitric oxide release. The body naturally produces nitric oxide, which is important for many aspects of health. Its most critical function is to relax the inner muscles of the blood vessels, causing them to widen and increase circulation.
Psilocybin may increase nitric oxide levels, triggering headaches in some individuals. But in people with migraine, psilocybin may help. In a recent study, researchers found that a single dose of psilocybin could reduce migraine frequency by 50% for at least 2 weeks. Although this preliminary trial was small, it is promising and may lead to larger studies in the future.
Migraine is a complex and potentially debilitating condition. However, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, working with a doctor is important to find the best treatment plan.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen may help mild to moderate attacks without nausea or vomiting.
- Triptans: Individuals can use sumatriptan, eletriptan, or almotriptan alongside naproxen for moderate to severe attacks.
- Antiemetics: Metoclopramide or chlorpromazine can decrease nausea and vomiting.
- Calcitonin-gene-related peptide antagonists: If someone does not respond to other medications, rimegepant or ubrogepant may help.
- Dexamethasone: This steroid can reduce the recurrence of early headaches but does not relieve headaches.
Chronic migraine treatment focuses on preventing headaches from occurring. Preventive treatments include:
- Beta-blockers: Medications, such as propranolol and metoprolol, can help reduce blood vessel dilation and nervous system electrical activity.
- Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, or desipramine, may help some individuals.
- Calcium channel blockers: Propranolol may change how calcium ions move into muscle cells of blood vessels. This can prevent blood vessel changes relating to migraine and cluster headaches.
- Anticonvulsants: Valproate acid and topiramate can
significantly reducethe likelihood of migraine headache attacks.
Doctors may also recommend lifestyle changes to help prevent migraine, such as:
- Trying stress reduction: Stress can trigger migraine or make them worse. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, may help some people.
- Avoiding potential triggers: Keeping a migraine diary to track patterns can help individuals avoid potential triggers, such as certain foods or smells.
- Increasing physical activity: Regular aerobic exercise may reduce the frequency of headaches.
- Getting enough sleep: Sleeping for 8 hours a night and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help overall health and prevent migraine.
- Quitting smoking: Cigarette smoke is a potential trigger for some people, so quitting smoking may help, if applicable.
Psilocybin is an active ingredient in magic mushrooms. It has therapeutic potential for a variety of conditions. However, some people may experience headaches after taking psilocybin.
This compound may increase nitric oxide levels, which can cause headaches. However, in individuals with migraine, psilocybin may help.
Migraine is a complex and potentially debilitating condition. While there is no cure, there are several ways to manage it.