Learn the serotonin connection in his death …. The toxicology released today on Prince shows he died of an overdose of the serotonergic pain killer Fentanyl. These drugs will often shut down the lungs as the serotonin constricts the broncial tubes. When it is eighty times stronger than morphine you have to ask what it is doing on the market! Now keep in mind that when they say he overdosed that does not necessarily mean he did that on purpose because the drug can accumulate in the system and the serotonin levels continuing to increase the longer he was on the drug can cause death via the elevated serotonin condition known as Serotonin Syndrome.
Elevated serotonin produces many of the symptoms Prince had been experiencing many of which could be called flu symptoms. Here is a list from several various sources: migraines, hot flashes, pains around the heart, difficulty breathing, a worsening of bronchial complaints, tension and anxiety which appear from out of nowhere, depression, suicide – especially very violent suicide, hostility, violent crime, arson, substance abuse, psychosis, mania, organic brain disease, autism, anorexia, reckless driving, Alzheimer’s, impulsive behavior with no concern for punishment, argumentative behavior, agitation or restlessness, dilated pupils, changes in blood pressure, nausea and/or vomiting,
diarrhea, rapid heart rate, tremor, loss of muscle coordination or twitching muscles, shivering and goose bumps, and seizures. And here is another list of symptoms:
- Confusion: A serious symptom that may emerge is that of mental confusion. The person may struggle with memories, conversation, and may appear to be acting drugged or downright goofy. This increased mental confusion may make it difficult for the person to perform even menial cognitive tasks.
- Death: The reason you need to seek immediate medical help if you suspect high serotonin is to avoid death. In some cases, high levels of serotonin are fatal and could end a person’s life. Always go into the doctor or emergency room if you have taken multiple serotonergic drugs as a combination.
- Diarrhea: Some people develop severe bouts of diarrhea from serotonin toxicity. This is a neurotransmitter that is found in the GI tract and may be involved in digestive processes. Too much serotonin disrupts the GI tract and can result in us feeling sick with diarrhea.
- Fever/Heavy Sweating: It is common to experience changes in body temperature as a result of serotonin syndrome. You may feel physically chilled and experience body shivers, but you may simultaneously be running a fever. If you have a fever, this is a sign that your body isn’t able to handle the serotonin increase.
- Irregular heartbeat: It was already mentioned that you may experience an increased heart rate, but you may also experience an irregular heartbeat – which is problematic. An irregular heartbeat may put excess strain on your heart functioning. This is a sign that you need to be medically evaluated.
- Loss of balance: If you feel as if you cannot properly walk or maintain balance, this is another sign of too much serotonin. There is often significant interference in our coordination when we have high levels of serotonin in the brain.
- Muscle twitching: Your muscles may twitch excessively as a result of serotonin elevations. If you notice that certain parts of your body start to twitch, realize that it’s probably a result of serotonin toxicity.
Seizures: In extreme cases, some people respond to serotonin increases by having seizures. To prevent a seizure, it is recommended to do whatever you can to lower your serotonin as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
- Unconsciousness: Some people may end up fainting or becoming unconscious if serotonin levels rise too high. If you feel faint or as if you may pass out, it’s best to get into the emergency room as soon as possible.
- Vomiting: Some people end up feeling so nauseous with flu-like symptoms that they end up vomiting. While vomiting may be good in that it could clear some serotonin-based drugs from the system, this is a sign that a person needs immediate medical intervention
- The warning is that if you experience any of these symptoms, you or someone with you should seek medical attention immediately. Unfortunately with all the misinformation about how dangerous it is to increase serotonin levels too few doctors are even familiar with these symptoms being connected to Serotonin Syndrome. Obviously they missed many of these symptoms in Prince.
FIRST RECORDED CASE OF CHEMICALLY-INDUCED PSYCHOSIS
PRODUCED BY TWO SEROTONERGIC MEDICATIONS
One of the first cases of chemically induced psychosis was produced by two serotonergic medications prescribed by Sigmund Freud. Unless you have read my book Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? Our Serotonin Nightmare, you are likely unaware that Freud was a cocaine addict (Now you know where the “Father of Psychiatry” got all of his insane ideas!) Thrilled with the discovery of cocaine and addicted to it himself, Freud regularly prescribed the drug to the majority of his patients. When he tried to get a friend who was hooked on morphine, off of that drug by putting him on cocaine he quickly became one of the first recorded cases of cocaine-induced psychosis. Considering that both cocaine and morphine are serotonergic drugs I would imagine that the psychosis was more a combined effect of the two drugs since the two major types of psychosis both schizophrenia and mania/Bipolar are conditions of elevated serotonin.
If you have read my book you will also recall the case of a neighbor I mentioned who took Prozac for two years and when he quit cold turkey became so manic that he thought he was an ambassador to the Queen of England for five months. I think the mayor of Los Angeles is still upset that he never got the funds promised to him during that manic state! 🙂
Several years after recovering from that manic episode after realizing what had caused it and watching his diet closely he began to smoke again and eat junk food. Once again finding himself beginning to suffer depression a well meaning friend talked him into trying Effexor. After all it is spelled differently so maybe it will work differently? NOT! Once the metabolism of serotonin is impaired by an antidepressant taking any other drug that increases serotonin can be a serious problem. About the only real difference in the Effexor, he quickly learned, was that it was even stronger. ONE PILL of Effexor was all it took for him to go into a six month manic episode this time!
He became a Scotish Crown Prince overnight and walked the neighborhood in a Scottish kilt with a sword on his side and held business meetings on my roof as he had been roof as he had been renting a room from me. (Luckily for him there were not so many officers on these drugs at that point so he did not get shot for walking around like that.) As the mania went on it became apparent that he was going to have a heart attack if his glandular system did not slow down. So we decided to try to get Noni juice down him to balance his sugar levels, stop the seizure activity and therefore stop the manic episode. The Noni worked rapidly! He began sleeping again that first night and within two weeks he was normal again. Unfortunately he did not get the Noni before he appeared on a local TV station to pledge matching donations for their Three Tenor program they were having as a fund raiser! Of course the money for that was coming to him as soon as he was to be officially crowned at my home with the invited guests being all of the Utah government leaders and leaders of the LDS Church. And he personally invited Randall Carlisle, a TV reporter for channel 4 news in Salt Lake City. (Luckily for me none of them showed up at my front door for his coronation!!!)
Now that you have that background, this is where the Fentanyl comes in and one of the many reasons I warn to never use antidepressants and pain killers together. Several years after the last manic episode I got a call from friends who were renting my home while I was living out of state. They called to let me know that they were sure this same friend was having yet another manic episode. They were renting the upstairs and he was still in the downstairs apartment. They were right. When I spoke with him I learned he had been given Flexeril, another serotonergic pain killer similar to Fentanyl, for the fibromyalgia pains he had gotten from using Prozac for two years! Not given in a hospital setting where there could be monitoring as this report says should be the case with the administration of Fentanyl. Just as with Prince. He was not given this drug in a hospital setting only. He was out on his own as well. The serotonin toxicity they can produce can be deadly as we have seen with the death of Prince. And as we saw several years ago with the death of Anna Nicole Smith’s young son, Daniel, while he was sitting in a hospital visiting his new baby sister. Daniel too died of this same medication interaction.
But this is why it is so important to not use these pain killers together with antidepressants. And many antidepressants are given as pain killers like Tramadol often is. So be careful if you are taking various pain killers that they are not mixing one of those antidepressants with a drug like flexeril or fentanyl many are given antidepressants as pain killers for fibromyalgia. Cymbalta is another common antidepressant given for pain. Or they are given pain killers after they use antidepressants which produce fibromyalgia! All so ironic since fybromyalgia has long been known as a condition of ELEVATED serotonin! Fibromyalgia is a form of arthritis and arthritis is listed as a “frequent” side effect of antidepressants. Bottom line is that many patients are mixing these drugs and are not in a safe place at all doing so.
Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”
WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!
WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: http://store.drugawareness.org/ And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships in the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan. For only a $30 membership for one month you can even get 30 days of access to the withdrawal CD with tips on rebuilding after the meds, all six of my DVDs, hundreds of radio interviews, lectures, TV interviews I have done over the years PLUS access to my book on antidepressants (500 plus pages) with more information than you will find anywhere else (that is only $5 more than the book alone would cost) at www.drugawareness.org. (Definitely the best option to save outrageous postage charges for those out of the country!)