Posted by: Buzz | 2006/10/27


Hi CS! I hope you're keeping well?

I've been ill for a while and forgot to take my Cipralix half the time. For 2 weeks now, I haven't taken it at all. I was on Cipralix for 6 months, but my psychologist suggested I go for blood tests since she felt my "blues" might be caused by something else (I'm hypoglacaemic). The results were that my serotonin level is low.

Would you suggest I go back on Cipralix? I'm worried now about hitting a "low", although I'm feeling good at the moment. Is Cipralix an SSRI, would it help to raise my serotonin level? The doctor who did the blood tests, didn't say anything about me continuing Cipralix but did however, prescribe Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).

I told my psychologist that I've come off Cipralix and she didn't seem concerned about it. What do you suggest I do? Cipralix or 5HTP, or nothing?

One last question CS, why is my serotonin level so low? I know it's an imbalance, but is it purely caused by my emotional state, or diet, or genetics, or a combination?

Anyway, have a great weekend CS!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Buzz,
I didn't know anyone was doing blood tests to measure serotonin levels --- especially as what actually matters is the levels in your brain, not in the blood, and the two aren't so well correlated. I would tend to have some doubts as to how scientific the doc was who did these tests, and would like to se the scientific evidence he has for the accuracy and relevance of his tests, and the way he interprets them.
One's blood sugar levels vary, so one might be relatively hypoglucaemic at times, but not all the time.
Cipralex is currently rather too fashionable ( with rather too litle good evidence to suggest that it's much better than other and cheaper alternatives )but it is one of several SSRI rugs that would effectively boost your serotonin levels. 5HTP is another fad, but lacking proper research evidence to recommend it. Nobody's quite sure why some people suffer a relative lack of serotonin at times. But I dotn't believe the blood tests or their results. It hardly matters how much or how little serotonin is sloshing around in your blood stream --- what matters is the tiny levels at exactly the most important parts of your brain and at the relevant nerve endings.

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