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Comedown refers to the after effects of heavy recreational stimulant use, usually (although not limited to) ecstasy, but also amphetamine, methylphenidate, cocaine and occasionally cannabis. The similar type of effect to a comedown, known as a "hangover", is caused by heavy consumption of alcohol. It can be characterized by depression, apathy, dysphoria, anxiety, fatigue, intense hunger, paranoia and insomnia. These effects are caused by poor nutrition, lack of sleep and dehydration. A large portion of the subjective effects of a comedown may also be caused by depletion of certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin (primarily after MDMA use) or dopamine (as a result of amphetamine or cocaine use) after they have been released in massive quantities while the drug was acting.
Some users choose to counter the effects of comedowns by taking more of the drug, drinking alcoholic beverages or consuming benzodiazepines, antidepressants or cannabis. However, these practices, while effective among some users, are not recommended by doctors. Consuming foods high in Vitamin C (such as oranges) as well as other essential vitamins and minerals are recommended, as is consuming food high in tryptophan or taking supplements containing 5-HTP, a direct precursor to serotonin.