Serotonin and Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by LouiseK, May 3, 2007.

  1. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    So I have read about the connection between serotonin "issues" and FM, including on the FMA
    website.

    What they know from research seems to be that transporters
    of serotonin are not functioning correctly and ALSO that serotonin uptake is diminished.

    Now, if SSRI's inhibit "reuptake" of serotonin is that a good thing for us with FM? Or do we need more serotonin
    taken up rather than less?

    I know this is kind of technical but really goes to the heart of a possibly important treatment. It would be good to know if stuff like Prozac helps or hurts.

    Anybody? I'm sure there are some good research scientists out there . . .

  2. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Would you mind elaborating? I know you are well schooled in these matters:

    Why not Prozac? Is it just because the newer ones do more to the brain? Or is it that inhibiting the uptake of the serotonin would not be a good thing altogether? If that be the case how could the newer ones be good for us?

    Etc. etc. Whatever you can, if you don't mind.

    Thank you very much.

    PS - My story -- Cant tolerate Effexor and the other SSNRI. Can take Prozac but after my reading wonder if it is doing the opposite of what we need. Thanks.
  3. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Yes, thanks for that. I am wondering if it is actually good for us to leave the serotonin free or if we are not
    taking up enough of it, based on the research I referred to above.

    The study I spoke of says that the receptors are not picking up the usual amount as it is, so should we further inhibit that?

    Would you know?
  4. artkin

    artkin New Member

    In France and other European countries there is an antidepressant called Tianeptine (brand name Stablon) which works exactly the opposite way than SSRI: tianeptine is an enhancer of the reuptake of serotonin. And it's a anti-depressant by itself.

    I haven't tried (in Italy it's banned for some possible liver problems) and haven't read anything about it's use in FM, but I wanted to share this info after having read your post.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianeptine

  5. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Thank you for your comments.

    Artkin -- I was really interested to hear about the med you posted. Interesting that it does the OPPOSITE with the serotonin.

    I still would like to hear from people who have thought through or discussed this with a doctor (ha ha, joke in my case).

    Simply put -- if people with FM are not taking up enough Serotonin is it good to take something that further inhibits that uptake (like AD's).

  6. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    I don't think they really know enough yet about how exactly these medications work on the brain and what the long-term effects are. I have been on Paxil for years, recently switched to Paxil CR, and I can't say it has any effect at all on my FM. I know I had FM before starting Paxil, because I can remember symptoms as early as my childhood.

    I am encouraged to hear they are coming out with some newer ADs, but as with everything, skeptical.

    I, too, could not tolerate Effexor AT ALL (horrible experience). Haven't tried Cymbalta, as I figured they were about the same.

    I think klonopin helps me the most with my pain.
  7. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    In the brain, messages are passed between two nerve cells via a synapse, a small gap between the cells. The cell that sends the information releases neurotransmitters (of which serotonin is one) into that gap. The neurotransmitters are then recognized by receptors on the surface of the recipient (postsynaptic) cell, which upon this stimulation, in turn, relays the signal. About 10% of the neurotransmitters are lost in this process, the other 90% are released from the receptors and taken up again by monoamine transporters into the sending (presynaptic) cell (a process called reuptake).

    Some theories link depression to a lack of stimulation of the recipient neuron at a synapse. To stimulate the recipient cell, SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin. As a result, the serotonin stays in the synaptic gap longer than it normally would, and has the chance to be recognized again (and again) by the receptors of the recipient cell, which can finally be stimulated fully.

    From Wikipedia.....

    Hope this helps,
    God Bless,
    Bob

  8. Jordane

    Jordane New Member


    The Seritonin meds is what my Dr.,has been trying on me now for a few months.Supposed to help with the circuits in the brain that signals pain.Its supposed to block it.

    Apo-Gabapentin(100mg)3 times a day;-gave me the shakes,did NOT stop the pain.

    Apo-Sertraline (25mg.); Apo-Carbamazepine (200mg); PMS-Clonazepam (0.5mg)

    None of these helped.:>(

    I am going to stick with my pain meds for now.

    Be kind to *you*!!
    Jordane
  9. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    I had similar experiences with some of those meds.

    Best wishes.
  10. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    So Bob,

    Thanks for that. This is what I understood too. However, I have just read on the FMA website that FM does basically what the AD's do -- inhibits reuptake of serotonin along with disturbing serotonin transporters somehow.

    Maybe the AD's are to keep the serotonin circulating even longer to compensate for the transporter issue.

    This is so screwy and hard to understand.

    In my own body I am increasingly aware of brain disfunction i.e. central nervous system problems so I am wanting to go after that if it makes sense. I don't want to just swallow a Prozac to make me feel more cheery about being deathly ill. ;-)

    Best wishes.

    Anyone else have insight into this issue?
  11. diva42597

    diva42597 New Member

    I've had some good luck with cymbalta SSNRI. It works very well for me and my fibro symptoms including the pain. I have seen great results.
  12. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Bumping for Louisek
  13. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Well, I'm still curious as to whether inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin is a good thing if in fact our bodies are already having trouble doing that as the
    research I mentioned states.

    Also in the pipeline,by the way, something to reduce the increased Substance P in the spinal fluid of FM'ers. Apparently it is increased up to four-fold over normal amounts and increases pain sensitivity. Maybe that will be the magic bullet.

    Soon we should be getting an AD that's already on the market in Europe and in final trials here . . .starts with an "M". Can't remember the name but it's supposed to be very good for FM.

    This was interesting, everybody.
  14. HurtsToMove

    HurtsToMove New Member

    you're thinking of is milnacipran, trade name Ixel. I believe it's an SNRI like Cymbalta/Effexor, but with fewer side effects.
  15. luigi21

    luigi21 Member

    Or Mirapex which is a dopamine antagonist. yeah i understand the reuptake it means basically it keeps the serotonin in the brain longer by reprocessing it as fibro sufferers have been found to be lacking in serotonin. the thing is they are also lacking in dopamine, and what concerns me is that i've read that increasing the serotonin decreases the dopamine which is needed to stop the hippocampus (memory) from shrinking which is proven in the brains of fibromyalgia. Anyway, also can dependency on these drugs stop the brain from processing the chemicals in the future, you know make it lazy? Also if our brains are dysfunctional in a part called the lympic system, (also known as the emotional brain) parts include the hippocampus, the hypothalumus, amdayla, (basically which altogether control the function of the body through the nervous system and the endocrine system is it possible that we can reprogram our brains ourselves by dealing with the emotional side? After all replacing chemicals is just treating the symptom not the cause. or will they find out that fibro is related to conditions such as Parkinsons? Wish the researchers would pull their bloody fingers out and give us something conclusive.
  16. Katwilm

    Katwilm New Member

    I think that it's a misleading term because according to Wikipedia it does increase your seratonin.<BR>
    <BR>
    "SSRIs are believed to INCREASE the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, increasing the level of serotonin in the synaptic cleft available to bind to the postsynaptic receptor. "<BR>
    <BR>
    you know, medical speak ; )