Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that plays a role in pain management. Found mainly in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract, this so-called “happy hormone” regulates mood. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to anxiety and depression as well as chronic pain.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), patients who suffer from fibromyalgia experienced significant pain relief when treated with antidepressants that increased serotonin. Two types of drugs, tricyclic and tetracyclic compounds, were used in the JAMA study.
In addition to its use in pain management therapy, elevated serotonin levels are also linked to reduced levels of anxiety. The Annals of Internal Medicine reports improved pain suppression when serotonin levels are increased.