Serotonin syndrome

The serotonin syndrome is caused by an excessive serotonin level in the central nervous system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that works in the brain on emotions, sexual functions, hunger, and thirst.

XTC, amphetamine (speed), cocaine, LSD, some pharmaceutical drugs such as antidepressants, and certain natural dietary supplements affect serotonin levels and are linked to the serotonin syndrome.

The effect of the serotonin syndrome on individuals depends on which substances and the amount of substances they have used. Not everyone experiences severe symptoms, but sometimes the effects can be unpredictable and even life-threatening.

What increases the risk of the serotonin syndrome?

  • The use of large quantities of XTC
  • Combining XTC with amphetamine (speed), cocaine, or other drugs.
  • Combining XTC with AD(H)D medications (dexamphetamine (Elvanse, Vyvanse, Mydayis, Adderall), methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), or L-tryptophan.
  • Combining XTC with antidepressants, MAO inhibitors, and SSRIs increases the risk of serotonin syndrome and is life-threatening!

The early, mild signs of the serotonin syndrome are similar to the reactions some people have when using substances like XTC or when they have been dancing for a long time. These include sweating, excitement, dilated pupils, trembling, rapid heartbeat, and rapid breathing. For most people, these complaints are not too serious.

If you see someone with the following signs, it is absolutely necessary to seek medical help. These are serious symptoms of the serotonin syndrome:

  • Fever
  • Restlessness/Agitation
  • Anxiety/Confusion
  • Unusual, convulsive muscle cramps in arms and/or legs
  • Stiff muscles