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Is it Possible that Antidepressants can cause Serotonin and Adrenal Receptor Antibodies

Mya Symons

Mya Symons
Messages
1,029
Location
Washington
I wasn't sure where to post this. Sorry if it is in the wrong place. I was looking at these two studies today:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0306453092900172

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159115300209


I started thinking about diabetes and Americans in particular. We tend to be overweight as we age and eat more sugar than the average person somewhere else. We have a high rate of diabetes possibly because our bodies are always producing insulin and we become insulin resistant.


We also use more antidepressants than most other societies.
Antidepressants work by being norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors, correct? Thereby, keeping more free flowing serotonin and norepinephrine in our blood. Could the immune system react to that and start attacking serotonin and adrenal receptors? Is this possible? I am also wondering if treatment for Fibromyalgia with Antidepressants like Savella could eventually make Fibromyalgia and CFS symptoms worse.
 

caledonia

Senior Member
I don't know the exact mechanism, but SSRIs (ironically) deplete serotonin over time. I think it's due to some type of down-regulation process. Mine is like zero after over a decade on an SSRI.

SSRIs can also lower your metabolism, i.e mess with your adrenals (lower your cortisol), and can cause weight gain or problems losing weight. If you already have low cortisol this is not good.

When you try to come off the drug, if you come off too fast, you can get a horrendous withdrawal syndrome where your adrenals will go extremely high.

Some SSRIs, such as Prozac, are also mitochondria killers and they probably all deplete B vitamins i.e. dampen your methylation cycle.

So yes, taking these drugs could make an FM or ME or CFS patient worse in the long run.
 

A.B.

Senior Member
Messages
3,780
Antidepressants work by being norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors, correct? Thereby, keeping more free flowing serotonin and norepinephrine in our blood.

I'm not an expert but I believe what happens is that SSRI and SNRI antidepressants slow uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine at synapses and don't have any effect on the circulating levels.

They also do other things and we don't actually know why they help some people.

Could the immune system react to that and start attacking serotonin and adrenal receptors? Is this possible?

That doesn't seem very plausible. If anything antidepressants tend to reduce immune system activity.

I am also wondering if treatment for Fibromyalgia with Antidepressants like Savella could eventually make Fibromyalgia and CFS symptoms worse.

SSRIs reduce thyroid function which can make fatigue worse. That's how they also cause weight gain.
 

Martial

Senior Member
Messages
1,409
Location
Ventura, CA
Wouldn't a total loss of serotonin production trigger a parkinsons disease like condition? Or is that something directed specifically from dopamine which seratonin plays a part. Interesting question none the less. I was on an anti depressant for a few years before getting sick. It was pretty rough getting off of it, I wish I knew of alternatives like transdermal magnesium, and adatoptogenic herbs back then to use instead. Doctor told me the anxiety was "incurable" but that ended up being completely untrue. There are definitely better alternatives, and though I don't think it would trigger an auto immune issue. It definitely has a lot of adverse side effects that should lead people to look to other easy options first.
 
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whodathunkit

Senior Member
Messages
1,160
SSRI's sure do something that's not good, to the neurotransmitters and maybe to the gut. I wonder if anyone's looking at their effect on the gut (which could affect the immune system)? First time I was on them I went into "mono eating" mode, and it was only ice cream I wanted. I started with a half gallon per day but quickly moved up to a gallon (not a half-gallon container but two of them, Breyer's chocolate chip) per day for several months at a time. During that time that was pretty much all I ate. It was all I wanted. I quit thinking about killing myself all the time (the thoughts were still there but not as constant and no longer urgent), but instead of entertaining urgent suicidal ideation I stayed in my house with the shades drawn eating ice cream. This behavior didn't start until I was on anti-depressants. I moved on from ice cream after a few months, but my eating patterns never straightened out. I was always kind of a junk food junkie but at least I would also crave things like veggies covered with cheese, spinach with butter, apples with peanut butter, stuff like that. Some of it was good for me even if it was heavy on fat. After SSRI's I only wanted junk food. During the initial "ice cream phase" with SSRI's is when I gained a bunch of weight and until very recently I was never able to lose it.

After SSRI's is also when my energy really went in the tank and didn't recover. Possibly because of thyroid but I suspect SSRI's and anti-depressants may also have a deleterious effect on mitochondria. And maybe adrenals. Edited to add: just read @caledonia's post more closely and she seems to knowledgeably confirm this suspicion. Nice to see I'm not just smoking crack again. :)

Incidentally, my mother went on them for a year or so after my dad's death and her gut and energy is all messed up now. The mess could be from the shock and stress but based on my own experience I believe the SSRI's also had something to do with it.
 
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Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,795
Regarding autoantibodies against serotonin: Jonathan Edwards on another thread said that these were likely not going to have much effect:
On the other issue. Antibody can mop up a mediator and cause a deficit of the mediator. That is how the anti-TNF antibody infliximab works. However, neurotransmitters are secreted in very tiny synaptic clefts in brain tissue where antibody levels are very low and only stay in the cleft for a few microseconds. Antibodies can certainly block transmission by binding to transmitter receptors but I doubt there would ever be enough antibody for long enough to mop up a transmitter itself. I may be wrong but I doubt it. And there would be no inflammation.