Effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the human heart

This review (2024) outlines the effects of various hallucinogenic drugs on the human heart (contraction force & heart rate). These drugs, including bufotenin, psilocin, psilocybin, LSD, ergotamine, ergometrine, DMT, & 5-MeO-DMT, primarily stimulate serotonin receptors, particularly 5-HT2A receptors in the brain, leading to their hallucinogenic effects. However, they also impact the heart, potentially increasing cardiac contractility and heart rate, which could predispose individuals to arrhythmias.

Abstract of Effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the human heart

“Hallucinogenic drugs are used because they have effects on the central nervous system. Their hallucinogenic effects probably occur via stimulation of serotonin receptors, namely, 5-HT2A-serotonin receptors in the brain. However, a close study reveals that they also act on the heart, possibly increasing the force of contraction and beating rate and may lead to arrhythmias. Here, we will review the inotropic and chronotropic actions of bufotenin, psilocin, psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ergotamine, ergometrine, N,N-dimethyltryptamine, and 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine in the human heart.”

Authors: Joachim Neumann, Stefan Dhein, Uwe Kirchhefer, Britt Hofmann & Ulrich Gergs

Summary of Effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the human heart


In this review, the authors discuss the hallucinogenic effects of tryptamine derivatives, which are structurally similar to 5-hydroxyl-tryptamine (serotonin, 5-HT). These compounds may act as monoamine transport releasers, but probably not solely or mainly as releasers of noradrenaline from storage sites in the human heart. In the human heart, serotonin increases the force of contraction and beating rate via 5-HT4-serotonin receptors and not via 5-HT2A-serotonin receptor. We generated transgenic mice that overexpress the human 5-HT4-serotonin receptor in the heart (5-HT4-TG).

In transgenic mice, histamine increased the force of contraction, similar to serotonin. In isolated cardiac preparations from wild type mice, histamine did not increase the force of contraction.

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Effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the human heart


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Cite this paper (APA)

Neumann, J., Dhein, S., Kirchhefer, U., Hofmann, B., & Gergs, U. Effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the human heart. Frontiers in Pharmacology15, 1334218.

Study details

Compounds studied
DMT 5-MeO-DMT Psilocybin

Topics studied

Study characteristics
Literature Review

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