Published: January 4th, 2017
Categories: Other subjects
MAOI is an acronym for the group of substances known as Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors.
Monoamine Oxidase is the process of enzymes that break down or inactivate poisons and drugs like tryptamines, and it breaks down the build-ups of excess tyramine in the body, making sure that your blood pressure stays regulated.
Without MAO enzymes to control the tyramine levels in your body most foods that normally could be ingested without any problems can lead to spikes in blood pressure, hypertensive crisis, strokes, brain hemorrhaging and it could even lead to death in extreme cases.
MAO inhibitors can be divided in MAOIs that work by blocking either the MAO-A enzyme that is normally associated with serotonergic neurons and the MAO-B enzyme that is associated with dopaminergic neurons. Both have links with the clinical treatment of depression, but they can be subdivided even further into reversible MAOIs and irreversible MAOIs
Irreversible MAOIs bind themselves in a permanent way to the enzyme thereby inactivating it permanently. The enzymes are renewed by default every two weeks by the body itself so the effects shouldn’t last more than two weeks after ingestion of an irreversible MAOI.
The warnings for your health are most serious with irreversible MAOIs, there have been at least 100 recorded deaths due to the effects of ingesting tyramine containing foods while under the effects of pharmaceutical MAOIs.
Reversible MAOIs typically last for up to 24 hours and are therefore more suited for experimental use or to potentiate the effects of tryptamines.
Even though the interactions of reversible MAOIs are less harmful, they can still give very unpleasant symptoms. The most commonly used reversible MAOIs are harmaline and moclobemide.
MAOIs might be best known for their use in Ayahuasca, to make the DMT orally active. More recently a new combination has surfaced, called Pharmahuasca. It is made by starting with pure DMT, instead of a plant extract as is usual in Ayahuasca, and combining it with a reversible MAO inhibitor. This combination has a significantly smaller body load and greatly reduces the nauseating effects that Ayahuasca usually has.
DPT, or dipropyltryptamine, is sometimes also combined with MAOIs and is then called propylhuasca. Please note that DPT is already orally active by itself and the dosage should be lowered when combined with an MAOI.
When MAOIs are taken in combination with magic mushrooms, the ones that contain psilocybin and phenethylamines, it can prolong the psychoactive effect. Be careful with the combination of MAOIs and phenethylamines, though, this can be a dangerous combination.
The medical treatment of depression can be done by prescribing MAOIs, and they are also used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and several other disorders.
There are several safety diets to follow when taking MAOI’s, either when taking reversible or taking irreversible ones, just remember that the physical consequences of irreversible MAOIs can lead to death and should be taken very seriously. The reversible MAOIs can still cause serious discomfort, but they can be treated in hospital emergency room if needed.
An MAOI safety diet consists of foods that are as fresh as possible and not overripe, preserved, fermented, cured, aged, or spoiled in any way. Also, foods that contain a lot of tyramine should be avoided, especially in large quantities. Try to avoid aged cheese, beer and wine, pickled herring, chicken liver and yeast. Foods that can be dangerous when ingested in large amounts: coffee, citrus fruits, canned figs, broad beans, chocolate, and cream.
There are several dangers to be considered when mixing MAOIs with drugs, especially opiates and amphetamines. The use of opiates in combination with MAOIs can result in respiratory depression. Amphetamines, cocaine, and MDMA may cause a severe increase in your blood pressure. This can lead to strokes and cerebral hemorrhage. Also, the dosage differs so using a little can result in an overdose quickly.
As the MAOIs prolong and potentiate the effects of substances that interact with your immune system, they also interact with a lot of the medicines we use. Medicines like sedatives, antidepressant agents, alchohol, anti-histamines, potent analgesics or anticholinergic and general anaesthetics interact with MAOIs to make their effects more potent and last longer. This can have some serious issues for your health. You could even overdose on the MAOIs themselves resulting in hyperreflexia and convulsions.
The following substances can be very dangerous to your health if taken 12 hours before up until 12 hours after you’ve taken an MAO inhibitor:
The following foods and substances can cause sickness, headaches and discomfort:
Always consult your doctor or physician when experimenting with new drugs and medicines; only they can properly evaluate the risk of interactions between your possible existing medical conditions and the medicines being used by you.
There’s always the safety of the binding doctor-patient confidentiality, so don’t be worried about your doctor getting involved in the legality of your endeavor.
Also, please make sure to follow the recommended safety diets when taking MAOIs in combination with drugs because even if the effects might be listed as "just unpleasant" they can lead to panic attacks, severe headaches and an accelerated heartbeat for several days or longer.