Depression Treatment

How can serotonin help treat depression?

A Answers (1)

  • AKent Holtorf, MD, Endocrinology/diabetes/metabolism, answered
    While not a hormone, I think serotonin deserves a mention as a new therapy available for depression. While many doctors and psychiatrists are not yet familiar with prescription serotonin, increasing numbers of physicians are utilizing this therapy. It can be given either by injection or orally. When introduced to this therapy, I was skeptical, as it seemed so simple. I was also told that it does not cross the blood-brain barrier (mostly by drug company representatives), but that has been shown to be not true. Actually, serotonin can be effective when antidepressants are not, but it is not associated with the side effects of other prescription antidepressants. Checking a baseline serotonin level can also be beneficial as many patients with depression or anxiety will have low or low-normal levels. Studies are also showing that chronic use of antidepressants will deplete natural serotonin levels so the prescription serotonin can be used in such cases.
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