Pharmacologic Category: Supplement
General Information: Anxiety, insomnia, and depression are symptoms that may originate from imbalances in certain neurotransmitters; such as glutamate, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA. The same way that various prescription drugs are theorized to treat these problems by restoring neurotransmitter balance, certain supplements may do the same.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is a medical condition that can interfere with the ability to lead a normal life and can ultimately result in serious mental illness.
There are different types of anxiety disorders including:
- Panic disorders
- Social anxiety disorders
- Specific phobias
- Generalized anxiety disorder
Anxiety disorders can originate from a combination of factors, like; genetic predisposition, changes in brain chemistry, and psychological stress or trauma.
Some symptoms of anxiety disorder include sleepless nights, cold or sweaty hands, panic, feelings of fear, dry mouth, and depression.
GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid): GABA is a neurotransmitter distributed throughout the brain. Its role is to inhibit or reduce excitement and activity of the neurons (nerve cells) to which GABA attaches to in the brain by regulating communication between them.1 GABA has been used:
- As an anti-anxiety supplement
- To relieve insomnia by inducing restful sleep
- To restore a feeling of calmness
Some research studies have found that having lower than normal levels of GABA in the human brain may be linked to problems such as; depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia.2
Other research studies also strongly suggest that GABA could be effective in helping control the fear and anxiety that can occur when neurons (nerve cells of the brain) become over excited.3
Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate: Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate is the supplement form of magnesium, an essential mineral for health.
Magnesium plays a critical role in biochemical reactions over the entire body. It is involved in many cell transport activities, and helps cells make energy both aerobically and anaerobically.7 Magnesium is also the counter-ion for calcium and potassium in muscle cells, including the heart. Ion regulation is vital to how muscles contract and nerves signals are sent.8 When magnesium levels are low, patients may experience severe muscle cramps, cardiac arrhythmias or even sudden death.9
Magnesium deficiency can cause depression, behavioral issues, headache, muscle cramps, seizures, irritability and even psychosis.
A research article in Nutritional Neuroscience states that magnesium appears to act on various levels in the regulation of stress response. Magnesium can prevent the hippocampus from stimulating the release of stress hormone ACTH (a hormone that signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline), and lessen the response of the adrenal glands to ACTH. Magnesium also acts at the blood brain barrier to prevent stress hormones from reaching the brain.10
Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid and a precursor to GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that reduces excitability in the neurons that make up the brain. Taurine can consequently increase GABA and glycine. It can also protect the brain by mitigating the potentially harmful effects of excess glutamate levels.11
Theanine: L-theanine is an amino acid commonly found in green tea that can reduce anxiety by blocking excitatory stimuli in the glutamate receptors of the brain while stimulating production of the relaxing neurotransmitter, GABA.12 But unlike many prescription anti-anxiety drugs; L-theanine can relieve stress without causing drowsiness or an impaired ability to react. In fact, the opposite is true - studies have shown it can improve alertness and attention.
What is this medicine used for? Calm Injection may be used to help relieve the adverse effects of stress that can cause excess anxiety, nervousness or fear. Calm Injection may also act as a sleep aid.
Who should not take this medicine? Calm Injection should not be taken by people with bipolar or unipolar depressive disorders.13 Since one of the ingredients (GABA) can also cause drowsiness, patients shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery after taking Calm Injection.14
What are the precautions when taking this medicine? Care should be taken if taking a supplement containing GABA with any drug that also effects the GABA pathway in the brain.
Drugs that effect the GABA pathway include:17
- Benzodiazepines (like Xanax and Valium)
- Alcoholic beverages
Pregnant or lactating women, children, and people who suffer from liver or kidney disease should not take Calm Injection due to an absence of research into the potential side effects of GABA in these groups.
How is it best taken? Medical research is reasonably sure that the blood brain barrier prevents much of any orally consumed GABA from reaching the brain.18 But substantial evidence suggests that GABA administered by parenteral injection,18 will more effectively penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
What do I do if I miss a dose? If a dose is forgotten, just take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, simply skip the missed dose and take the next regularly scheduled dose. You should not take two doses at the same time.
What are some possible side effects of this medicine? Some people could experience a mildly uncomfortable side effect that is similar to taking a niacin supplement.
You may feel:
- A sensation of feeling ‘flushed’
- Mild shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
These symptoms can occur very soon after injection and may last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.
How should I store this medicine? Store this medication at between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) and away from any heat, moisture or light. Remember to keep all medication out of the reach of children. Always throw away any unused medicine once it passes the beyond use date. Never flush unused medications down the toilet or pour down a sink or drain.
- 1. GABA and Glutamate in the Human Brain. Ognen A. C. Petroff. The Neuroscientist Vol 8, Issue 6, pp. 562 – 573. First published date: June-29-2016.
- 2. Martin, Elizabeth I. et al. “The Neurobiology of Anxiety Disorders: Brain Imaging, Genetics, and Psychoneuroendocrinology.” The Psychiatric clinics of North America 32.3 (2009): 549–575. PMC. Web. 11 Sept. 2017.
- 3. Lakhan, Shaheen E, and Karen F Vieira. “Nutritional and Herbal Supplements for Anxiety and Anxiety-Related Disorders: Systematic Review.” Nutrition Journal 9 (2010): 42. PMC. Web. 11 Sept. 2017.
- 4. Bravo-Rivera, Christian et al. “Long-Range GABAergic Neurons in the Prefrontal Cortex Modulate Behavior.” Journal of Neurophysiology 114.3 (2015): 1357–1359. PMC. Web. 11 Sept. 2017.
- 5. PONTES, Adalto, Yonggang ZHANG, and Wenhui HU. “Novel Functions of GABA Signaling in Adult Neurogenesis.” Frontiers in biology 8.5 (2013): 10.1007/s11515–013–1270–2. PMC. Web. 11 Sept. 2017.
- 6. Smith, Sean M., and Wylie W. Vale. “The Role of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Neuroendocrine Responses to Stress.” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 8.4 (2006): 383–395. Print.
- 7. Gröber, Uwe, Joachim Schmidt, and Klaus Kisters. “Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy.” Nutrients 7.9 (2015): 8199–8226. PMC. Web. 12 Sept. 2017.
- 8. Jahnen-Dechent, Wilhelm, and Markus Ketteler. “Magnesium Basics.” Clinical Kidney Journal 5.Suppl 1 (2012): i3–i14. PMC. Web. 12 Sept. 2017.
- 9. S. Johnson. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. Med Hypotheses. 2001 Feb;56(2):163-70.
- 10. H. Murk. Magnesium and Affective Disorders. Nutritional Neuroscience Pages 375-389, Volume 5, 2002 – Issue 6.
- 11. M. Mori et al., “Beta-Alanine and Taurine as Endogenous Agonists at Glycine Receptors in Rat Hippocampus in Vitro,” Journal of Physiology 539 (2002): 191–200; H. Wu et al., “Mode of Action of Taurine as a Neuroprotector,” Brain Research 1038, no. 2 (March 2005): 123–131.
- 12. Yoto A, Motoki M, Murao S, et al. Effects of L-theanine or caffeine intake on changes in blood pressure under physical and psychological stresses. J Physiol Anthropol. 2012;31:28.
- 13. Cuellar, Amy K., Sheri L. Johnson, and Ray Winters. “Distinctions between Bipolar and Unipolar Depression.” Clinical psychology review 25.3 (2005): 307–339. PMC. Web. 11 Sept. 2017.
- 14. J.C.Reub. Comparative study of the release of glutamate and GABA, newly synthesized from glutamine, in various regions of the central nervous system. Neuroscience, Volume 5, Issue 12, December 1980, Pages 2145-2150.
- 15. Dagli AI, Mueller J, Williams CA. Angelman Syndrome. 1998 Sep 15 [Updated 2015 May 14]. In: Pagon RA, Adam MP, Ardinger HH, et al., editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2017.
- 16. Jones EA, Weissenborn K. Neurology and the liver. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 1997;63:279-293.
- 17. Linnoila M. Benzodiazepines and alcohol. J Psychiatr Res. 1990;24 Suppl 2:121-7.
- 18. a. b. Boonstra Evert, de Kleijn Roy, Colzato Lorenza S., Alkemade Anneke, Forstmann Birte U., Nieuwenhuis Sander.Neurotransmitters as food supplements: the effects of GABA on brain and behavior.Frontiers in Psychology Volume 6, 2015.