Chronic administration of serotonergic antidepressants attenuates the subjective effects of LSD in humans

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1996 Jun;14(6):425-36. doi: 10.1016/0893-133X(95)00145-4.


This study investigates the possible interactions of antidepressant agents and hallucinogens in humans through structured interviews using a standardized questionnaire. Volunteer subjects recruited through announcements placed on the Internet or other sources were asked to describe the somatic, hallucinatory, and psychological effects of self-administered LSD prior to and during chronic administration of an antidepressant. Twenty-eight out of 32 subjects (88%) who had taken an antidepressant with inhibitory effects on serotonin (5-HT) reuptake (fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, trazodone) for over 3 weeks had a subjective decrease or virtual elimination of their responses to LSD. An additional subject who had taken fluoxetine for only 1 week had an increased response to LSD. These data are in contrast to our previous study that reported increased responses to LSD during chronic administration of tricyclic antidepressants or lithium. Possible mechanisms of action for the effects from serotonergic antidepressants involve 5-HT2 and 5-HT1A receptors, changes in extracellular brain serotonin concentrations, and changes in brain catecholamine systems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / pharmacology
  • Hallucinogens / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Hallucinogens
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide