Medical Guidelines

Eagle Condor Alliance is committed to offering healing in the safest environment. Therefore it is paramount that participants who wish to partake in our retreats disclose in confidence any known medical conditions and use of any prescription, non-prescription medications, and supplements during the mandatory pre-retreat registration process. Participants will also be asked to disclose any physical or mental health conditions that could potentially affect their experience with the plant medicines as your overall well being is our top priority.

Eagle Condor Alliance does not accept liability for any accident or injury incurred by participants, but we do guarantee the purest and highest quality medicines.  The information provided below is based on our knowledge and combined 40 years experience of using plant medicines. We stress the importance of consulting your doctor about medical conditions and medications, and the process for “coming off” medications like anti-depressants.

Although plant medicines used under supervision by experienced healers is considered safe, some medical conditions can have moderate to serious complications in regards to the use of plant medicines. If you have any kidney, liver, heart, other serious medical conditions, or if you or an immediate family member has a history of seizures, you must inform us prior to booking a retreat at ECA to discuss your particular situation. In every medical case, always discuss the use of a reversible MAOI with your doctor prior to booking.

 

Diabetes

People with diabetes have extra risk involved with the consumption of Ayahuasca. The use of the MAOIs present in Ayahuasca can alter blood sugar levels through hypoglycemic effects. MAOIs may change the amount of insulin or oral antidiabetic medication that you need. People with severe unstable diabetes should not take Ayahuasca because of this risk. People with less severe diabetes should contact us prior to booking a retreat to discuss the particulars of the case, including the possibility of a modified diet.

Epilepsy/Seizures

If you or an immediate family member has a history of epilepsy and/or seizures, you must inform Eagle Condor Alliance prior to booking a retreat. Use of plant medicines like ayahuasca, if not managed and monitored correctly, can induce a seizure if you have a prior family history of epilepsy.

Liver and Kidney Conditions

The use of Ayahuasca can be stressful for the liver and kidneys. The liver and kidneys play essential roles in the metabolism of exogenous and endogenous chemicals. Ayahuasca contains harmine and related alkaloids, which act as inhibitors of monoamine oxidase. This inhibition activity occurs in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. If a participant has various monoamines still present in their system from diet, environmental exposure, medical condition, or use of pharmaceutical or illicit drugs, these would accumulate in the presence of an MAOI and would add further stress for the liver and kidneys.

Heart / Cardiovascular Conditions

If you have a chronic heart condition or high blood pressure it is not advisable to participate in the drinking of Ayahuasca. The use of Ayahuasca can elevate blood pressure and can pose serious and/or fatal risk to those with serious heart conditions or high blood pressure. Having such serious conditions would exclude you from participation in one of our retreats. Potential participants with minor heart conditions are welcome to discuss the matter with the staff at Eagle Condor Alliance prior to booking a retreat.

Psychological Conditions

People suffering from borderline disorders, bipolar disorders, psychosis, and schizophrenia (including drug-induced) are at psychological risk if they use Ayahuasca. At this time, serious borderline and bipolar cases, psychosis cases, and schizophrenia would exclude your participation from a retreat at Eagle Condor Alliance. If you suffer from minor borderline or bipolar disorders and would like to discuss your specific case with us, please do so prior to booking a retreat. In general, Ayahuasca has been shown to have positive psychological effects on participants. If you suffer from depression, stress, OCD, or anxiety, please contact us about the specifics of your condition, including any prescribed medications, prior to booking a retreat at Eagle Condor Alliance.

 

Hypothyroidism

If you have a hypothyroidism condition, it is generally safe to partake in the use of ayahausca; however, you must inform Eagle Condor Alliance of your condition, so that we can closely monitor your dosage during your Ayahausca ceremonies. You also may continue using your hypothyroid medication (synthetic hormones, such as synthroid) during your retreat experience without complication.

Policy Regarding Medications

 

All medications taken within the past year must be disclosed in confidence to Eagle Condor Alliance prior to completing the registration process. Failure to do so will put you and your health at risk.

 

In general, one should not be taking any other substances or medications, including herbal medicines, when taking Ayahuasca or other medicinal plants, both for your safety and to avoid interfering with the efficacy of the plant medicines.  All prescription medications, certain supplements, and illegal drugs should not be used for at least 2 to 8 weeks prior to drinking Ayahuasca depending on the specific type of medication or supplement. Synthetic hormones taken for hypothyroidism are an exception. You may continue to take your hypothyroid medication during your course of ayahuasca, but you are still required to inform Eagle Condor Alliance that you are taking the medication. Many over the counter medications, such as antihistamines, require only 48 hours of non-use prior to Ayahuasca, although we still recommend ceasing them 2 weeks in advance. Specific medications, such as MAOIs and SSRIs, pose substantial health complications in conjunction with Ayahuasca and therefore require a longer cessation period. Please consult the comprehensive list below for detailed descriptions of specific medications and the recommended cessation period. And remember, always consult your doctor when ceasing any prescription medication. Some medications have moderate to serious withdrawal effects, so added time might be necessary to safely ween yourself off your medication(s). When consulting your doctor, please inform her/him that you will be taking a reversible MAOI.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): 6 or 8 Weeks Prior, 4 Weeks After

The combination of Ayahuasca (an MAOI) and SSRIs is potentially life-threatening. Any medication which has an effect on the serotonin system, such as SSRIs, can induce serotonin syndrome in conjunction with Ayahuasca. It is extremely important that you give the medication enough time to leave your system and give yourself time to adjust to not being on your medication as side effects from stopping your medication may arise. Prozac requires stoppage 8 weeks prior to drinking Ayahuasca due to its longer half-life. All other SSRIs require 6 weeks. Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor first. Why? Ayahuasca is an MAOI which allows for certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, to become more available in the brain. SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin. The combination of these two substances will cause an excess and/or overload of serotonergic activity in the central nervous system and peripheral serotonin receptors.

Medications: Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro and Cipralex (escitalopram),Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil and Seroxat (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft and Lustral (sertraline)

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): 4 – 6 Weeks Prior

Ayahuasca is a very potent natural MAOI and should not be used in combination with other MAOIs. Combining MAOIs can lead to complications in the regulation of neurotransmitters and digestion, such as hypertensive crises, convulsive seizures, fever, delirium, coma, and circulatory collapse. Withdrawal symptoms are possible when ceasing prescription MAOIs, so it is important to consult a doctor as to how to taper off one’s dosage. Why? Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme responsible for clearing certain neurotransmitter chemicals from the brain. When the activity of this enzyme is inhibited, the brain has more norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine available to send important messages and regulate mood states. This enzyme is also important in the digestive process.

Medications: Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), Emsam, Eldepryl, and Zelapar (selegiline), Parnate(tranylcypromine), Aurorix and Manerix (moclobemide), Pirazidol (pirlindole)

Other Anti-Depressants: 6 Weeks Prior, 4 Weeks After

Anti-depressants other than SSRIs, such as serotonin-norepinephrine inhibitors (SNRIs), serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs), norepinephrine inhibitors (NRIs), norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCAs), noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs), and serotonin modulator and stimulators (SMSs) can pose serious complications in conjuction with drinking Ayahuasca.  If combined with an MAOI, one can have an overload of the neurotransmitter leading to serious health complications. It is extremely important that you give the medication enough time to leave your system and give yourself time to adjust to not being on your medication as side effects from stopping your medication may arise. Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor first. Why?  Ayahuasca is an MAOI which allows for certain neurotransmitters to be more available in the brain. Other anti-depressants also alter brain neurochemistry leading to possible serious health complications when combined.

Medications:  SNRIs:Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), Cymbalta (duloxetine), Fetzima (levomilnacipran), Ixel and Savella (milnacipran), Effexor (venlafaxine),SARIs: Axiomin and Etonin (etoperidone), Serzone and Nefadar (nefazodone), YM-992, YM-35,995 (lubazodone), Desyrel (trazodone), NRIs: Strattera (atomoxetine), Edronax (reboxetine), Vivalan (viloxazine), NDRIs: Wellbutrin and Zyban (bupropion),TCAs:  Elavil and Endep (amitriptyline), Evadene (butriptyline), Anafril (clomipramine), Norpramin and Pertofrane (desipramine), Prothiaden (dosulepin, dothiepin), Adapin and Sinequan (doxepin), Tofranil (imipramine), Prondol (iprindole), Feprapax, Gamanil, Lomont (lofepramine), Pamelor (nortriptyline), Insidon (opipramol), Vavactil (protriptyline), Surmontil (trimipramine), TeCAs and NaSSAs: Asendin (amoxapine), Ludiomil (maprotiline), Lumin, Bolvidon, Norval, Tolvon (mianserin), Remeron (mirtazapine), SMSs:Viibryd (vilazodone), Brintellix (vortioxetine)

Anti-hypertensives (Blood Pressure Medications): 2 – 6 Weeks Prior, Depending on Medication

There are many classes of antihypertensives, which lower blood pressure by different means. Among the most important and most widely used are thiazide diuretics, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, and angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Always ask your doctor about coming off your medication, and please inform her/him that you will be taking a reversible MAOI.

Beta Blockers: atenolol, metoprolol, nadolol, nebivolol, oxprenolol, pindolol, propanolol, timolol, Alpha Blockers: doxazosin, phentolamine, indoramin, phenoxybenzamine, prazosin, terazosin, tolazoline, Mixed Alpha & Beta Blockers:  bucindolol, carvedilol, labetalol,Calcium Channel Blockers: amlodipine, clinidipine, felodipine, isradipine, lercanidipine, levamlodipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nimodipine, nitrendipine, diltiazem, verapamil, ACE Inhibitors: captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, trandolapril, benazepril, Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists: candesartan, eprosartan, irbesartan, losartan, olmesartan, telmisartan, valsartan

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants (and Sleeping Pills): 3 – 4 Weeks Prior

CNS depressants, such as certain anti-anxiety medications and sleeping aids, should not be used in conjunction with Ayahuasca due to serious health risk. The use of Ayahuasca can increase the depressant effects of CNS depressants leading to slower brain activity, heart rhythm, and respiration. CNS depressants include benzodiazepines, sleep medications, and barbiturates. CNS depressants have a shorter half-life and therefore can be ceased 3 weeks prior to drinking Ayahuasca. Dependency on CNS depressants can arise easily, so withdrawal symptoms may arise when ceasing your medication. Please consult your doctor for help.

Medications: Benzodiazepines: Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alpazolam), Halcion (triazolam), ProSom (estazolam), Non-benzodiazepine sleep medications: Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), Sonata (zalepon), Barbiturates: Mebaral (mephobarbital), Luminal Sodium (phenobarbital), Nembutal (pentobarbital), and any other barbiturate.

Illegal or Recreational Drugs

Stimulatants, Depressants, and Psychoactives (2 weeks prior)

The following illegal or recreational drugs should under no circumstances be combined with Ayahuasca : Cocaine, Amphetamines and derivatives of amphetamines, MDMA (Ecstasy), MDA or its derivatives, Dextromethorphan (DXM).  The following pose a lesser risk but should NOT be combined with Ayahuasca: Opiates, Barbiturates, marijuana, other psychoactives, alcohcol. If any participant is found in possession or under the influence of the above drugs they will not be able to participate in the retreat and will be asked to leave.

Herbal Medicines and Supplements

Herbal Medicines and Supplements: 48 hours prior (except St. John’s Wort)

Includes: Betel, Boswellia, Carrot Seed, Chamomile, Curcumin, Dill seed, Ephedra, Fennel Seed, Fo-Ti, Ginseng, Horny Goat Weed, Kanna, Kava, Kratom, Licorice Root, Nutmeg, Parsley Seed, Rhodiola Rosea, Scotch Broom, Siberian Ginseng, Sinicuichi, Tumeric, Yerba Mate, Yohimbe

 

 

Please Contact Us with any Questions or For a Personal Consulation