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Dangerous Combinations

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From Legal Highs by The Twentieth Century Alchemist, published sometime in the early 1970's:


Unless one is very experienced in pharmacology, it is unwise to experiment with combinations of drugs. Even when using a single drug, thought should be given to all substances, both food and drug, which have been taken recently. Most primitive people fast or at least abstain from certain substances for several days prior to taking a sacrament. Substances most universally avoides are alcohol, coffee, meat, fat and salt. Some drugs potentiate others. For example, atropine will increase the potency of mescaline, harmine, cannabis and the opiates. Many of the substances discussed in this book are MAO inhibitors. MAO (monoamine oxidase) is and enzyme produced in the body which breaks down certain amines and renders them harmless and ineffective. An MAO inhibitor interferes with the protective enzyme and leaves the body vulnerable to these amines. A common substance such as tyramine, which is usually metabolized with little or no pharmacological effect, may become dangerous in the presence of an MAO innhibitor and cause headache, stiff neck, cardiovascular difficulties, and even death. MAO inhibitors may intensify and prolong the effects of other drugs (CNS depressants, narcotic analgesics, anticholinergics, dibenzazepine antidepressants, etc.) by interfering with their metabolism. In the presence of an MAO inhibitor many substances which are ordinarily non-active because of their swift metabolism may become potent psychoactive drugs. This phenomenon may creat a new series of mind alterants. However, because of the complex and precarious variables involved, it is risky and foolish for anyone to experiment with these possibilities on the non-professional level.

The most commonly used MAO inhibitors include hydrazines such as iproniazid, Marsilid, Marplan, Niamid, Nardil, Catron; also non-hydrazines such as propargylamines, cyclopropylamines, aminopyrazine derivatives, indolealkylamines, and carbolines. MAO inhibiting materials discussed in this book include yohimbine, various tryptamines, especially 5-MeO-DMT and the alpha-methyltryptamines, and the various harmala alkaloids. The latter are especially potent inhibitors, but, like yohimbine and the tryptamines, are short-lasting in action (30 minutes to several hours). Some of the commercial MAO inhibitors listed above are effective for several days to several weeks.

Among the material which may be dangerous in combination with MAO inhibitors are sedatives, tranquilizers, antihistamines, narcotics and alcohol--any of which can cause hypotensive crises (severe blood pressure drop); and amphetamines (even diet pills), mascaline, asarone, nutmeg (active doses), macromerine, ephedrine, oils of dill, parsley or wild fennel, beer, wine, cocoa, aged cheeses and other tyrosine-containing foods (tyrosine is converted to tyramine by bacteria in the bowel)--any of which can cause hypertensive crises (severe blood pressure rise).

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