Psychedelic Migraine Treatment
Could Psilocybin or other Serotonergic 5-HT Agonists replace medications like Rizatriptan?
Short answer: for many people, yes!
I used to have migraines that would not go away for a 5-7 days at a time, and would happen once every few months. Just imagine living through a week long migraine.
In my particular case, the migraines I had were only ever in one side of my head, which the migraine would seemingly pick at random. Needless to say, I was in severe pain.
As I began microdosing LSD and Psilocybin (among other 4-substituted tryptamines), I noticed that these migraines disappeared. It’s been 6 years since I have had any migraines or severe headaches. (I had also suffered with regular headaches that were not as painful as migraines.)
How do you go to work with a migraine? How do you even tell your boss that you have a migraine that is bad enough to impede your work? Most people don’t understand the debilitating nature of migraines.
What Is A Migraine Headache?
For those of you who are unaware of what defines a migraine, or have heard the term used but are unsure of its true nature, let’s take a peek into what a migraine is.
Migraines are experienced as excrutiating pain in the head. Some describe it as an icepick being slowly pushed into the brain. Almost everyone gets headaches– sometimes even very painful ones– every now and then.1
‘Migraine’ is not simply a term for an extra severe headache, contrary to popular thinking. Migraines are characterized by a bundle of neural symptoms that induce a severe throbbing and recurring pain. This pain is often focused on one side of the head, which varies, and might seem random.
In about 33% of the migraines, both sides of the head are affected. The pain is severe, reported as being 9-10 on the pain scale.
There are different types of migraines. The migraine itself remains an elusive condition, as it is a moving target of research. The type of migraine is differentiated by its symptoms. There are migraines, cluster headaches, aura headaches, and many more.
According to The Migraine Research Foundation:
Migraine is an extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease, affecting 39 million men, women and children in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide.
A lot of people use the term migraine to refer to any kind of severe headache. A migraine is a the result of specific neurological changes within the brain. These changes lead to the pain felt with migraine headaches.
Migraines are exacerbated by certain sensory stimuli. Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon. A spinning head sensation is also commonly present. Extreme pressure around the sinus is also reported, as well as throbbing temples.
Sometimes migraines involve only one side of the head, but this is not always the case. Migraines can be described as throbbing and pounding headaches, which are made worse by sensitivity to light and sound.2
Migraines are an Extremely Common Neurological Disease
The 3rd most prevalent illness in the world is migraines (and cluster headaches).
25% of the households in the United States have at least one victim of migraines.
12% of the child population also suffers from migraines.
The most common ages of migraine sufferers is between 25 and 55.
90% of people who get them have a family history of migraines.
Many people don’t know how serious and incapacitating migraines can be.
While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice per month, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraines, with at least 15 migraine days in a given month.
More than 90% of the victims of migraines cannot perform work duties or have normal daily functionality during their migraines.
Migraines are extremely painful headaches that can stop a person from functioning and living a normal life. They can render a person stuck in bed, writhing in pain, unable to do the most basic of tasks. Appetite becomes naturally suppressed, and as a result, the health of a person swiftly dwindles.
Microdosing Psychedelics Treat Migraines
In my personal experience, microdosing certain psychedelics can keep migraines at bay. Sometimes more effective than prescription medications, psychedelics can break the most painful migraines in a matter of hours. The cause of migraines is yet to be understood.
Many people are now pursuing self-treatment through psychedelic microdosing instead of depending on Big Pharma. A study was conducted which sheds more light on this: Psychoactive substances as a last resort—a qualitative study of self-treatment of migraine and cluster headaches
The study concludes that patients are desperate for relief and are losing hope in the available pharmaceuticals to treat migraines. Many are turning to illicit substances, such as the classic psychedelics (LSD and magic mushrooms), as a last resort.
Many of these people are in such tremendous pain, that they are not interested in the psychoactive effects of these substances. If these effects occur, they are often tolerated in order to find relief from the suffering and pain.
Most of the time, the psychoactive effects are mitigated by only taking a microdose, which is 1/10th of the effective dose.
Most notably psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide, and related psychedelic tryptamines were reportedly effective for both prophylactic and acute treatment of cluster headache and migraines.
Migraine Medications Compared To Psychedelics
My father is a psychiatrist. Once, in the midst of a week-long migraine, I asked my father for something which might help. He informed me of Rezatriptan. When I heard the name, something clicked in my mind. “Triptan? Interesting!” After taking the Rezatriptan, the migraine was gone within an hour, never to return again yet.
This intrigued me so much so that I started to do a detailed analysis of the pharmacology of the drug. I noticed something peculiar– the molecular structure of Rezatriptan was rather similar and almost identical to Serotonin, Psilocybin, Psilocin, DMT, LSD etc. (LSD contains the moiety of both Dopamine and Serotonin).
Psilocybin, which is dephosphorylated to psilocin, is a partial agonist for many serotonergic receptors. Psilocin is known to bind to 5-HT1A, 5-HT1D, and 5-HT2C.4
According to Wikipedia5, Rizatriptan was sold as Maxalt, which is a 5-HT1 receptor agonist. Rizatriptan is an FDA-approved drug to treat migraines and cluster headaches.
“Rizatriptan and Psilocin both agonize 5-HT1D at blood vessels and nerve endings in the brain.”
Serotonin6 is a monoamine neurotransmitter which regulates many primary functions in the brain and gastric system. Serotonin is associated with mood regulation, sleeping, and digestive health. Serotonin is closely related to adequate functioning of the mind and body.
What I noticed was that the molecular structure of Rizatriptan, Triptans (family), and Psychedelic tryptamines is very similar:5678. They both look like the serotonin molecule and are serotonin receptor agonists.
Rizatriptan is said to:
“work by narrowing blood vessels in the brain, stopping pain signals from being sent to the brain, and blocking the release of certain natural substances that cause pain, nausea, and other symptoms of migraine.”
Psychedelic tryptamines such as Psilocybin and Psilocin also target the same 5HT1D receptor as Rizatraptan, which works to reduce bloodflow to the brain’s vessels. The 5HT1D receptor is the key receptor in inducing vasoconstriction.
Functional neuro-imaging reveals that due to this vasoconstricting effect of tryptamines, less oxygen flows to the brain through the duration of the experience.
Here is a study published by the American Academy of Neurology about a response of cluster headache to psilocybin and LSD.
The authors interviewed 53 cluster headache patients who had used psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat their condition. 22 out of 26 psilocybin users reported that psilocybin aborted attacks; 25 of 48 psilocybin users, and 7 of 8 LSD users reported cluster period termination; 18 of 19 psilocybin users and 4 of 5 LSD users reported remission period extension. Research on the effects of psilocybin and LSD on cluster headache may be warranted.
It seems that the molecular structure of migraine medicines is extremely similar to that of serotonin receptor agonists, such as the psychedelics LSD and magic mushrooms.
Targeting the same receptors that these medications do, psychedelic microdosing, with great benefits, can also eliminate migraines altogether.
I have used psychedelics for treating my migraines, and I’ve found success. I have not had migraines in over 6 years becuase of psychedelic microdosing.
Please comment on the article below and let us know how you treat your migraines.