For many years now, Serotonin effects on the human nervous system, and its interaction with various drugs has formed an interesting spectrum of debates and arguments. But comparatively lesser attention has been paid to the treatment perspective of patients requiring Serotonin.
Serotonin, better known as 5-hydroxytryptamine or simply 5-HT to medical professionals, is a neurotransmitter along with being a natural antidepressant and does the amount of serotonin differ between a man and woman which mainly helps the body to regulate functions especially psychological. It is responsible for mood, anxiety, aggression etc. An increase in the levels of Serotonin in our body leads to sedation, depression and a decrease in sexual drive. Similarly, lack of appetite or will power can be attributed to low Serotonin levels in the body.
The indications for the use of Serotonin supplements are mood disturbances, depression and anxiety disorders. It is also used in patients suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.
Those people habituated to use of Serotonin Ecstasy i.e. Serotonin MDMA also have the need of consuming these supplements.
Now, Serotonin by itself is not sold because it does not cross the blood- brain barrier. Rather other substances like 5-HTP, pure rose hip oil, melatonin and tryptophan are sold over the counter as Serotonin supplements. These three substances are inter-related as in 5-HTP is converted to Serotonin by tryptophan and is stored in the body as Melatonin which is also called the sleep-inducing hormone. Since 5-HTP is a direct pre-cursor to Serotonin, it is one of the best substitutes available. It may play a vital role in reducing anxiety and depression.
The use of these supplements is not necessary though beneficial if Serotonin Ecstasy usage is present in the patient’s history. Which means the patients abused Serotonin MDMA.
Tryptophan is another good option since it converts itself into 5-HTP.
Over-the-counter medications used to treat cold and cough containing dextromethorphan are also widely used as Serotonin Supplements, to accentuate its effect of a natural antidepressant.
Each of these above mentioned drugs has a different way of acting on the Serotonin levels. For eg. L-tryptophan increases the synthesis of Serotonin, drugs such as isocarboxacid, selegeline decrease the metabolism of Serotonin; amphetamines and cocaine increase the release of Serotonin. But all in all, they increase the Serotonin effects.
Most of the drugs available as OTC supplements for Serotonin are herbal medications. Mainly because they carry a lesser risk of side-effects. The side effects all put together form The Serotonin Syndrome which includes a reduced sex drive, headache, agitation, mental confusion, hallucinations, etc. This can occur mainly with the use of other drugs concomitantly such as MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). The treatment of this overdose involves reduction in the dose of the medication being given to the patient gradually. Or other drugs such as Benzodiazepines also can be used. Without necessary and timely intervention, this syndrome can prove to be fatal. To a lesser degree of severity, coma, loss of consciousness and seizures are some other outcomes.
One of the highlighted side effects of such drugs is that they improve mood, showing its effectiveness as a natural antidepressant but lower the sexual interest or urge, which is also shown by 5-HTP. Although it elevates the serotonin levels and balances mood and copes with depression, but a side effect is lowering of sexual urge. In addition, obviously, a lower sex drive can depress the mood. 5-HTP also causes an increase in 5-HIAA excretion. These effects are contrary to those shown by Serotonin MDMA. The effects here are called effects of Serotonin Ecstasy.
There are various other ways to increase Serotonin levels in the body, to highlight the Serotonin effects ; Sufficient exposure to sunlight, proper exercise regimen, diet rich in aminoacids – these are a few tricks to elevate the mood without having to undergo the risks.