Ayahuasca, MAOIs, and Drug Interactions

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Hosted by The Psychedelic Society
Activity Psychedelic Science & Mental Health
Enquiries to amir@psychedelicsociety.org.uk
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Ayahuasca is unique among psychedelic sacraments due to the presence of monoamine oxidase inhibiting (MAOI) harmala alkaloids in the ayahuasca vine. While harmala alkaloids are necessary to increase the bioavailability of and induce psychoactivity of the psychedelic N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), their use creates a metabolic vulnerability in which interacting drugs or foods could lead to life-threatening adverse reactions.

In this talk, we will begin by covering the pharmacologic properties of MAOIs and comparing the effects of harmala alkaloids to other pharmaceutical MAOIs. From there, we’ll have a discussion that describes potential adverse reactions, lists drugs that are likely to increase risks as well as those that do not, and
provide strategies for avoiding toxicity. Lastly, we will provide a brief summary of biomedical research relating to ayahuasca.

The formal objectives for the talk are to:

• Describe pharmacological properties of harmala alkaloids in ayahuasca
• Define adverse reactions associated with food and dietary interactions with ayahuasca such as hypertensive crisis and serotonin toxicity
• Formulate management strategies to avoid adverse reactions from interacting foods and drugs
• Summarize observational, clinical, and toxicologic studies relating to ayahuasca use


 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Author: Awkipuma

Webinar Logistics

The webinar will take place on Wednesday January 31 st from 7-9pm UK time. It will consist of approximately 60-75 minutes of lecture with the remaining time dedicated to question and answer.

Registration includes access to the live webinar as well as a recording
Access to a page with the recording as well as slides presented will be available within 24-48 hours after the live event to all registrants.

This webinar is for information and educational purposes only. It is not meant to condone or encourage the use of illicit substances. The information presented is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. It is recommended you follow laws applicable to your jurisdiction.

About Dr Ben Malcolm, PharmD, MPH

Psychopharmacology Consultant and Psychedelic Educator
Founder of Spirit Pharmacist LLC

Dr. Ben Malcolm earned his bachelor’s degree (BS) in pharmacology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, prior to his Masters in Public Health (MPH) and Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) at Touro University California. He then completed post-graduate residencies in Acute Care at Scripps Mercy Hospital and Psychiatric Pharmacy at the University of California at San Diego Health.
After residency he passed his exam to become Board Certified in Psychiatric Pharmacy (BCPP). He began his career as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Western University of Health Sciences (WUHS), College of Pharmacy before transitioning to his current entrepreneurial role as a Psychopharmacology Consultant, Psychedelic Educator, and Founder of https://www.spiritpharmacist.com 

Ben envisions a society in which access to psychedelic drugs in a variety of safe and supported settings is available for purposes of psychospiritual well-being, personal development, ceremonial sacraments, and treatment of mental illness. is focus is on the intersection between psychiatric medications and psychedelic therapies. He has given several Continuing Education presentations to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals as well as published over a dozen articles in peer-reviewed literature relating to psychedelics or psychiatric medications.

His vision guides his clinical and education service-related professional activity.


  • Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP) 2017-2022
  • Licensed pharmacist CA #70652 2014-2022

Post-Graduate Training

  • PGY-2 Residency, Psychiatric Pharmacy – University of California at San Diego, San Diego CA. 2016
  • PGY-1 Residency, Acute Care – Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego CA. 2015


  • Doctorate of Pharmacy – Touro University California, Vallejo CA. 2014
  • Master of Public Health – Touro University California, Vallejo CA. 2014
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology – University of California at Santa Barbara, Goleta CA. 2008

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