Serotonin releasing agent

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A serotonin releasing agent (SRA) is a type of drug which induces the release of serotonin from the pre-synaptic neuron into the synapse. This in turn leads to increased extracellular concentrations of serotonin and therefore an increase in serotonergic neurotransmission.

Main article: Releasing agent

Clinical and recreational use[edit]

MDMA, MDEA, MDA, and MBDB, among other relatives (see MDxx), are recreational drugs termed empathogen-entactogens and are often used at all-night dance parties known as raves. They act as releasing agents of not only serotonin, but of dopamine and norepinephrine as well.

Fenfluramine, chlorphentermine, and aminorex were used as appetite suppressants but they were discontinued due to concerns of cardiac valvulopathy. This side effect has been attributed not only to their action as SRAs but due to potent agonism of the 5-HT2B receptor as well. The designer drugs MDMA and 4-methylaminorex which are also SRAs and 5-HT2B agonists have been reported to cause this effect as well.

Tramadol, in addition to its opioid and norepinephrine reuptake-inhibiting effects, is an SRA and is used as an analgesic. Indeloxazine is an SRA and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor used as a nootropic and neuroprotective.

αET and αMT are serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine releasing agents which were formerly used as antidepressants in Russia. They are now encountered solely as recreational drugs similarly to the MDxx series.

List of SRAs[edit]

Pharmaceutical drugs
Recreational drugs
Less common recreational drugs
Trace amines

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]