Drugs A - Z
Generic Name: peyote
CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Cactaceae (family), cactus methanolic extract, Lophophora, Lophophora williamsii, mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine).
Lophophora williamsii, also known as peyote, is found primarily in dry regions from central Mexico to Texas, particularly in regions along the Rio Grande. Peyote is commonly used in rituals and as a hallucinogen (due to its mescaline content). In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may prohibit the use of peyote for religious purposes. Although peyote is illegal, the Dona Ana cactus, Coryphantha macromeris (Engelm.) Br. and R. and its runyonii (Br. and R.) L. Benson variety have been promoted as natural and legal psychedelic agents with about one-fifth of the potency of peyote.
To date, there are no available clinical trials investigating the use of peyote for any indication. However, preliminary study investigating peyote has not found long-term cognitive deficits, although more study is needed to make any firm conclusions about peyote's safety.
Some experts believe that proper use of one psychoactive substance, such as peyote, within a spiritual or clinical context helps to free an individual from the adverse effects of their addiction to another substance and thus restores them as functioning members of their community or group.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Alcoholism, hallucinogenic, immunomodulator, tumor.
Adults (18 years and older):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for peyote in adults.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for peyote in children.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to peyote, mescaline, or members of the family Cactaceae.
Side Effects and Warnings
There is limited available evidence describing the adverse effects of peyote. Due to the hallucinogenic activity of peyote, psychosis has been reported in case reports. Ritualistic use of peyote does not appear to cause long-term cognitive deficits, although more study is needed to clarify these findings.
Use cautiously in patients with mental disorders, as peyote may induce psychotic episodes.
Use cautiously in patients with high or low blood pressure, due to mescaline's potential to alter blood pressure.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Peyote is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of sufficient data in humans. Mescaline, a constituent of peyote, may cross the placenta, and has been linked to congenital malformations.
Interactions with Drugs
The biochemical alkaloids common in the peyote cactus are thought to be pharmacologically similar to the neuroamine-derived alkaloids found in the brain during alcohol intoxification. Caution is advised when taking peyote with alcohol.
Peyote extracts may regulate blood pressure, although the clinical significance of this is unknown. Caution is advised in patients taking agents that may also alter blood pressure.
Peyote may stimulate lymphocytes and leukocytes. Caution is advised when taking peyote with immunomodulators due to possible additive effects.
Chlorpromazine may affect the disposition of 8- 14 C-mescaline in fetal and maternal brain and liver. Caution is advised when taking peyote with phenothiazines.
Due to peyote's hallucinogenic effects, combined used with other psychoactives may cause additive effects. Caution is advised in patients with mental disorders.
Peyote may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
In theory, due to peyote's hallucinogenic effects, combined used with other psychoactive herbs or supplements may cause additive effects. Caution is advised in patients with mental disorders.
Peyote extracts may regulate blood pressure, although the clinical significance of this is unknown. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that may also alter blood pressure.
Peyote may stimulate lymphocytes and leukocytes. Caution is advised when taking peyote with immunomodulator herbs or supplements due to possible additive effects.
Peyote may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Nicole Giese, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); James Hegarty, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
BibliographyDISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
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Franco-Molina M, Gomez-Flores R, Tamez-Guerra P, et al. In vitro immunopotentiating properties and tumour cell toxicity induced by Lophophora williamsii (peyote) cactus methanolic extract. Phytother.Res. 2003;17(9):1076-1081.
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Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.