Person thinking about the side effects of DMT use

Side Effects of DMT

Dimethyltryptamine, a psychedelic drug long used as part of shamanic medicine in parts of South America, is also used recreationally to achieve euphoria or spiritual enlightenment. Despite DMT’s long history of use in sacramental ceremonies, it is not necessarily safe to use alone. Before experimenting with DMT or any psychedelic drug, it is essential to understand the potential DMT side effects and dangers.

If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment to overcome dependence on DMT or other psychedelic drugs, reach out to My 5 Palms at 1.844.675.1022. Our evidence-based addiction treatment programs can help you heal with a personalized recovery plan.

What Is DMT?

Dimethyltryptamine is a psychedelic compound found in many plants and animals. It is also produced by the human brain, although it is not fully understood how it interacts with other neurotransmitters to produce its effects.

DMT is consumed in one of several ways:

  • Smoking
  • Vaporizing
  • Snorting
  • Drinking
  • Injecting

In shamanic rituals, DMT is often used as ayahuasca, a unique brew with a complex preparation. This delivery method produces a long-lasting psychedelic experience. Injecting DMT leads to a faster, more potent high, but the effects wear off much faster.

What Are the Side Effects of DMT?

As with any drug, there are side effects of dimethyltryptamine use. They can range from mild to severe, with some people being more susceptible to adverse impacts. Some potential DMT side effects to be aware of are the following.

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep disturbances can refer to the inability to fall, stay, or experience restful sleep. Several factors, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, can disrupt your sleep quality. DMT is thought to play a role in maintaining healthy sleep cycles, particularly in REM sleep, which correlates with dreaming. While the DMT found naturally in your brain can help regulate your REM sleep, consuming DMT from other sources can lead to an imbalance that impacts the overall quality of your sleep.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

DMT acts as a serotonin agonist, binding to the same receptors in your brain as serotonin does. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and feelings of happiness and calm. Some people notice reduced anxiety due to increased serotonin levels when using low doses of DMT, but everyone’s experience differs. Too much serotonin can trigger anxiety, just as too little serotonin can. People with anxiety disorders may be more likely to trigger panic attacks when using DMT.


DMT is a hallucinogen that can cause you to see, hear, and feel things that are not really there. This is one of the most common side effects of taking DMT and one of the reasons that people try the drug in the first place. Hallucinations can be fun or exciting for some but scary for others. 

Dizziness, Nausea, and Vomiting

Some people experience dizziness, confusion, and digestive upset after consuming DMT, especially as ayahuasca. When used as part of a spiritual ceremony, purging is believed to be part of cleansing your body. In this context, vomiting is considered a necessary and positive side effect, but it can still be an unpleasant experience.


DMT can increase serotonin levels, putting you at risk of serotonin syndrome or excess serotonin. This can cause tremors, shivering, muscle stiffness, and spasms.


DMT can make you feel paranoid and believe that others are out to harm you. This side effect seems more prominent in people with a history of mental health issues, especially schizophrenia. It has also been known to trigger schizophrenia in some cases.

Heal from DMT Side Effects in Florida at My 5 Palms

Experimenting with psychedelic drugs like dimethyltryptamine can be dangerous. If you or a loved one is experiencing unsettling DMT side effects, it is time to seek professional help. Contact My 5 Palms today at 1.844.675.1022 to learn more about our addiction treatment programs.

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