Most medications are taken daily, often multiple times a day. Tryptamines aren’t used that way – a dose of medication is typically taken every five days or once a week. Most people will have to wait several days after a first dose before a second dose will have much effect. We call it “shutting the door.” It is a kind of tolerance effect, though a very large one.
Depending on the size of the dose, the door-slamming effect kicks in after about a half hour after the tryptamine reaches the brain. If it seems the dose was too small to be effective, it will not help to take another an hour or more later. Also, sometimes it takes a while for the dose to reach the brain, so taking more too soon can lead to an unexpected and undesired experience – and it’s a waste of clusterbuster medicine. Many a hippie has a tale of thinking the first dose wasn’t any good and doing a few more, only to meet God, the Devil and Grandpa for tea on the planet Zenon.
The high-tolerance effect is well-known; why it happens is not. One guess involves tryptamine molecules that bind to certain receptors in the brain. They nestle snugly in and trigger a reaction in the receptor sites, “shutting the door” behind them. Not only does the door shut on the sites that contain tryptamine molecules already, but on all other sites anywhere in the brain capable of accepting similar molecules. It’s not instantaneous, but it is fairly rapid, taking maybe twenty minutes to a half-hour or so.
These doors remain shut until all the tryptamine molecules have broken down (around 12 to 20 hours) and then the doors gradually start to reopen. This can take days and is why veteran “acidheads” back in the 1960s would only dose once a week or so. Some individuals can dose with only a three-day break, others need as much as a week. A good compromise for clusterheads is about five days.
This door-shutting mechanism applies to any other tryptamine hallucinogen for that given time period. That is to say, if you take some mushrooms Friday night, then take some LSD on Saturday night, the LSD will have little or no effect at all. Methysergide (Sansert) and other ergot compounds such as ergotamine and dihydroergotamine (DHE) will also shut the door. Due to the marked similarity between the various triptans (Imitrex, Amerge, etc.) and psilocybin, it is likely that they will also shut the door for at least as long as they remain in the body, and probably for some time after that.
The bottom line: it is essential to wait 4 or 5 days between tryptamine doses, and to avoid all other known blocking medications during that time as well. See PLAYING WELL TOGETHER: Playing Well Together
Some clusterheads like to use the clusterbuster treatment on weekends. This gives at least five days to lose the tolerance effect, and insures that any psychoactive experience takes place on a day off work.
It can be hard to wait when there are still cluster attacks, but using large preventive doses of tryptamine close together will do little to relieve clusters and by keeping the door slammed, will extend the time it takes to break the cycle.
There are ways to stop or soften attacks while waiting to take the next dose.
Some find chugging energy drinks or lots of coffee a useful stopgap, and there are the various physical methods of coping. See COPING – BUSTER-FRIENDLY TREATMENTS, Coping
Oxygen can be very effective See OXYGEN INFORMATION: Oxygen
Some use very small doses of tryptamine in a method known as the SPUT technique. See DOSING TO STOP ATTACKS on THE DOSING METHOD page: Dosing