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Vol. 50. Issue 1.
Pages 43-46 (January - March 2021)
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Vol. 50. Issue 1.
Pages 43-46 (January - March 2021)
Case Report
DOI: 10.1016/j.rcpeng.2019.10.003
Psychosis induced by abuse of ayahuasca: a case report
Psicosis inducida por el abuso de la ayahuasca: un caso clínico
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Raul Felipe Palma-Álvareza,b,c, Lara Grau-Lópeza,b,c,d, Elena Ros-Cucurulla,b,c,d, Alfonso Carlos Abada,b, Julia Dualdee, María Robles-Martínezf, Carlos Roncerog,
Corresponding author
croncero@saludcastillayleon.es

Corresponding author.
a Addiction and Dual Diagnosis Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
b Group of Psychiatry, Mental Health and Addictions, Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Barcelona, Spain
c Department of Psychiatry and Forensic Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
d Biomedical Network Research Centre on Mental Health (CIBERSAM), Barcelona, Spain
e Psychiatry Department, Hospital San Rafael-Germanes Hospitalàries, Barcelona, Spain
f Institut de Neuropsiquiatria i Addiccions, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
g Psychiatric Service, University of Salamanca Health Care Complex; Psychiatric Department, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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Abstract

Ayahuasca is a psychotropic infusion prepared by boiling the bark of Amazonian plants and has many psychopharmacological effects not fully understood. Some of those effects are used as treatment for different diseases. However, the side effects of ayahuasca, including ayahuasca-induced psychosis, are an important issue. Here we report the case of a patient who had a psychotic episode after taking ayahuasca and who was successfully treated with antipsychotic medication. Given the current spread of ayahuasca consumption in developed societies, the present case highlights the need for better understanding and regulation of the social-legal condition of ayahuasca and the need for further research. Additionally, psycho-education seems advisable in order to create awareness of the potential risks of the use of ayahuasca.

Keywords:
Ayahuasca
Depression
DMT
Addiction
Psychosis
Resumen

La ayahuasca es una bebida psicotrópica preparada a través de la cocción de plantas de la cuenca amazónica que tiene muchos efectos psicofarmacológicos no del todo estudiados. Algunos de esos efectos son usados como tratamiento de diversas patologías. Sin embargo, existen efectos secundarios de la ayahuasca que deben ser tenidos en cuenta, entre ellos psicosis inducida por ayahuasca. Reportamos un caso de un paciente que, tras autoadministración de ayahuasca, presentó un episodio psicótico y que fue satisfactoriamente tratado con antipsicóticos. Dada el uso cada vez más frecuente de ayahuasca en las sociedades desarrolladas, el caso actual resalta las necesidades de entender, regular e investigar el uso de la ayahuasca. Además, crear conciencia de los potenciales riesgos del uso de ayahuasca a través de la psicoeducación debería ser implementado.

Palabras clave:
Ayahuasca
Depresión
DMT
Adicción
Psicosis

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