Citation: Jeebus. "Seretonin Syndrome? Not as fun as it Sounds: An Experience with Tryptophan, DXM & Yohimbe (exp24270)". Erowid.org. Mar 23, 2006. erowid.org/exp/24270
I'd been on 50mg Zoloft daily for 4 months. I'd had a cold for the past couple days and had been taking Robitussin Flu within prescribed limits to control symptoms. I knew that there was probably some mild interaction with the DXM in the Robitussin and the SSRI, and it had been giving me mild jitteriness with a feeling similar to the come-up on MDMA, but it would always pass pretty quickly.
So one day, out of sheer boredom and stupidity, being a relatively experienced and usually responsible psychonaut, I decided to experiment with intentionally induced seretonin syndrome, the theory being that if I could trigger an overload of seretonin without pushing it too hard, it would provide an experience similar to MDMA.
11:00am-11:30am - Orally ingested 200mg goldenseal. Ate bagel. Orally ingested 50mg Zoloft. Smoked approximately 3g high quality cannabis in water bong. Orally ingested 100mg 5-HTP (with 200mg vitamin C and 25mg vitamin B-6). Orally ingested 650mg acetaminophen, 4mg CPM, 20mg DXM, 60mg pseudoephedrine. Orally ingested 270mg yohimbe (with 420mg Butcher's Broom).
11:30am-12:00pm - Downloaded Family Guy episodes, then got bored and started downloading porn. Mildly baked, noticeable heart flutters and tingly scalp.
12:00pm-1:30pm - Orally ingested 100mg 5-HTP (with 200mg vitamin C and 25mg vitamin B-6). Orally ingested 650mg acetaminophen, 4mg CPM, 20mg DXM, 60mg pseudoephedrine. Orally ingested 270mg yohimbe (with 420mg Butcher's Broom).
Noticeable jitteriness, racing heart, increased urination, altered audio perception, extreme arousal. During masturbation, never actually experienced a singular orgasm, but was dripping ejaculate continuously for at least 5 minutes. Not unlike coming up on an MDMA experience, however, had the feeling of 'hovering on the edge' without quite 'breaking through.' No inclination whatsoever to eat or drink. Starting to feel increased tension in lower back/PC muscles.
1:30pm-2:30pm - Decided to push it hoping for a 'breakthrough.' Orally ingested 100mg 5-HTP (with 200mg vitamin C and 25mg vitamin B-6). Orally ingested 650mg acetaminophen, 4mg CPM, 20mg DXM, 60mg pseudoephedrine. Orally ingested 270mg yohimbe (with 420mg Butcher's Broom).
Had to pee every couple of minutes. Extremely rapid, shallow heartbeat, distinctly altered audio perception, as well as time dilation. Extremely jittery muscles in arms and legs to the point where walking or smoking was difficult. Tingles in lower back, sore butt and thighs, stomach felt like cramps similar to extreme caffeine consumption. Rock hard, enormous erection.
At approximately 3pm I got up to go to the bathroom again. While walking there, I noticed a burning sensation between my legs and it felt as if my prostate had swelled up so much my thighs were brushing on it as I walked. The stomach cramps had become the dominating factor, and I sat on the toilet to try and pass gas or anything else that came out. Nothing happened, except the cramps got worse. I stood up to walk out of the bathroom, and all of a sudden it hit me like a wall.
I have never had nausea come up so quickly on me in my entire life. One second I felt relatively ok, the next second was immediate heavy vomiting. Usually vomiting clears things up if I've been drinking too much, but I knew this would be different. As I stood up to wipe off my mouth, I felt as if I'd been doused with rubbing alcohol, simultaneously freezing and burning up, working its way up my legs and along the back of my head. My heartbeat felt so rapid and shallow, and I felt completely detached from my legs.
At this point I experienced an incredibly rapid onset of extreme perspiration. Within moments I was literally drenched and dripping with sweat. I couldn't figure out if I was freezing or burning up, and I couldn't unclench my jaw despite the flip-flops my stomach was doing.
I was as mentally cognizant of my physical reaction as if I'd taken MDMA, except this time I was unfortunately cognizant of a terribly unpleasant physical reaction. My senses were definitely heightened - and it sucked since it felt like my body had gone completely haywire and I was aware of every little thing gone wrong.
For once I took to praying. I knew that there was pretty much no way out of this one - throwing up didn't really help any, and my options were to either pray, call 911, or collapse and die. I'd read enough about seretonin syndrome and read enough warnings about mixing SSRI's, MAOI's, and other drugs, and the stupidity of the whole situation kicked in, and I pledged to god that I'd never do something this stupid again. All I kept thinking about was the kid in town who'd died on an MDMA-related overdose a couple years ago and how they found him before he died - naked, drenched in sweat, convulsing, heart racing - and that's how I was right there, naked, drenched in sweat, convulsing, heart racing.
All my psychedelic experience with LSD, MDMA, K, AMT, shrooms couldn't have prepared me for this. None of my coping mechanisms could overcome the distress messages my body was sending me, and I knew that I could very well die. All I could do was pray, and listen for that little voice that was telling me that this would all pass soon - one way or another. I knew I was in extreme hyperthermia and dehydration, and was desperately trying to convince myself that, despite the feeling of freezing, that I should be trying to bring my core temperature down.
Basically the next 2 hours or so were hell. With my teeth firmly clenched and 'the fear' permeating every thought, every few minutes waves of nausea would hit me, and I'd start dry-heaving. Then I'd break out in burning/freezing sweat and muscular convulsions. Then it would feel like my heart stopped beating, then I'd realize I'd stopped breathing. I'd start breathing again, and the cycle would start all over again. All the while I was keenly aware of every horrible sensation, and all the while I felt a burning need to pee but couldn't.
Over the next couple hours, gradually the nausea let up first, then the extreme hot/cold flashes tapered off, and it took several hours (ie. near 9pm) for normal urination and for the convulsions of my legs and arms and neck to stop, giving way to blessed relaxation and extreme soreness.
T+24hrs or so I'm still extremely sore, and feel like I did some real damage to my cognitive skills, such as facial recognition and language skills.
Overall, it was a hard lesson learned, and as many of these close calls go, I feel like I got a second chance at life. More than any of my prior bad/difficult trips, this wasn't so much a fear of 'being stuck' or having generalized fear - I was keenly aware and still am aware that I truly physically was very near death. And yes, as is said many times here - first and foremost, respect life and it's many enhancements.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.