129: Medication Tapering for Psychedelics with Dr Ben Malcom

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Clinical psychiatric pharmacist Dr Ben Malcom with Spirit Pharmacist, joins me to share which medications don’t mix with which psychedelics, the process of combining the worlds of psychopharmacology + psychedelics AND his consultation practice that advocates for safe psychedelics exploration.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • The cultural narrative about depression, SSRIs + the combination of psychotropic meds and psychedelics.
  • How the DSM5 diagnoses depression
  • How psychedelics can help treat depression or other mental health challenges + diagnosis
  • The pressures in our culture about not being on psychotropic medications or antidepressants + the challenging withdrawals from anti-depressants + other psychotropics
  • Tapering off of psychotropic medications
  • Indications that it is not a good time for someone to start tapering from SSRIs
  • The neurochemical benefits to psychedelics
  • Reducing toxicity or mitigation strategies for harm reduction
  • The development of the field of psychology + the tool of psychedelic assisted therapy
  • How ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca interact with psychotropic medications
  • The affects on long term antidepressant on our society


Dr. Ben Malcolm earned his bachelor’s degree (BS) in pharmacology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, prior to his Masters in Public Health (MPH) and Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) at Touro University California. He then completed post-graduate residencies in Acute Care at Scripps Mercy Hospital and Psychiatric Pharmacy at the University of California at San Diego Health. After residency he passed his exam to become Board Certified in Psychiatric Pharmacy (BCPP). He began his career as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Western University of Health Sciences (WUHS), College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Malcolm envisions a society in which access to psychedelic drugs in a variety of safe and supported settings is available for purposes of psychospiritual well-being, personal development, ceremonial sacraments, and treatment of mental illness. His vision guides his scholarship, education, and service-related professional activity.

Dr. Malcolm's interests focus on the intersection between psychiatric medications and psychedelic therapies. He has given several Continuing Education presentations to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals as well as published over a dozen articles in peer-reviewed literature relating to psychedelics or psychiatric medications.

Today he provides psychopharmacology consulting, education on psychedelics, and a resource and support membership relating to the use psychedelic and psychotropic medications via his site https://www.spiritpharmacist.com

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