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5-htp

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Nielk, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Nielk

    Nielk

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    A doctor suggested I take 5-HTP since it's a serotonin precursor it should help me with my depression.

    My body can't adjust to anti-depressants, hence the recommendation for 5-HTP.

    The doctor told me to take it in the morning. When I read up about it, it says that it is a good sleeping aid.

    Does anyone here have experience with this and whether it's better to take it in the morning or at night?

    Thanks,
    Nielk
  2. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    It's good for sleep, but not so good as an anti-depressant for me. If you're using it as an anti-depressant, you want a slow release/time released 5-htp formulation. The best deal is at costco for natrol 5-htp mood enhancer 12-hour time release formula #150 $19.99. You will want to take one in the morning and one at night. For sleep, an immediate release 5-htp works much better.
  3. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Thanks Lancelot
  4. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I'm also on Zoloft, so it's hard to say what's doing what, but I feel that it helps with anything that the Zoloft doesn't handle. I also have sleep issues. My naturopath has me taking 3 5htps in the afternoon and 3 at bedtime.

    If you have trouble with the 5htp, try tryptophan instead. As always, start low and go slow to test the waters.

    I learned self muscle testing in the past year and it's been invaluable to determine what to take and how much, before actually taking it.
  5. rlc

    rlc Senior Member

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    Hi caledonia, don't want to alarm you, but MAJOR drug interaction warning Zoloft and 5htp should not be taken together because it can cause serotonin syndrom which can be cause death information about the interaction here http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/5-htp-with-zoloft-1-10727-2057-1348.html and serotonin syndrom here http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007272.htm My dad had this from mixing medications and almost died! Anti depressant should not be taken with 5htp or saint johns wart. My advice is to stop taking it immediatly, once again sorry to alarm you but i would hate to see someone suffer needlessly from this. All the best
  6. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Thanks ric. I've heard this probably every time I've posted.

    I'm doing this with the blessing of my naturopath. They said it's fine as they work by two different mechanisms. SSRI's will double the amount of serotonin you already have. 5htp will help you produce new serotonin. I believe SSRI's will also deplete serotonin, so if you don't take something like 5htp, SSRI's will eventually stop working as your serotonin levels (even doubled) fall below the threshold needed to control anxiety/depression.

    I've been taking both for 5 years with no problems.

    But yes, I would encourage everyone to be under a doctor's supervision if you want to try this.
  7. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    yes, you're right in that 5-htp provides the building blocks for more serotonin sort of like turkey in a bottle. SSRI's do not provide the building blocks for more serotonin but works by releasing more serotinon which will deplete your serotonin stores in the long term.

    The combination, however, can raise your serotonin levels to a very dangerous and life threatening level-serotonin syndrome. Because there is no way to measure your serotonin levels, taking both is not recommended and highly contraindicated because your only/first/last warning of too high a serotonin level is usually serotonin syndrome/coma/death. I'm glad it's working out for you after 5 years on this combo, but definitely tell all your prescribing docs especially your MD! Anyone else reading this, don't try this combo on your own please!
  8. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Nielk, just to put in my experience here. I was advised not to take anything that acts on brain chmicals like serotonin since i had a very severe reaction to an SSRI. I dont know if this is the case for everyone, but you did mention a problem with anti d's in your history. I hav had to play it really safe - i cant take st johns wort either (this is on the advice of a medical hrbalist) i also dont tak high lvels of B6 for the same reason.
    Its just a thought.
  9. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Just playing devil's advocate here - if SSRI's deplete serotonin, then what do you do after your serotonin is depleted and SSRI's dont work anymore? It seems to me like it would be wiser to take the building blocks of serotonin, rather than let them get depleted with the resulting return of anxiety/depression and no good way to treat it.

    Actually there is a way to measure serotonin and other neurotransmitters - the NeuroScan Neurotransmitter Test. If everyone took this test, then they would know exactly what they needed in terms of neurotransmitters.

    In any case, nobody should try anything that is discussed on this forum without proper medical supervision.
  10. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I started taking the 5-HTP yesterday.
    So far - no difference.
    I would imagine it takes a while to feel a change?

    Justy: I am apprehensive about it because of my history but I am taking it slow. As soon as I will feel a negative effect, I will stop.
    Thanks for the advice.

    I too was warned by the Dr. that I can't be on SSRI while taking this amino acid.
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    hi Nielk,
    What dose are u taking? Its good to start at 50mg for a week and increase 50mg a week until u feel better. I use 200mg every morning and have found it helpful, give it a week to notice a difference, if no effect, crank it up.

    cheers!!!
  12. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Thanks Heapsreal. Good advice!
  13. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    Yes, it is wiser to take the building blocks of serotonin(5htp, tryptophan, and tryptophan rich foods) to treat serotonin deficiency FIRST. However, no one makes any money prescribing 5-HTP over AD's.

    SSRI's do deplete serotonin stores in the long term along with axonal/receptor degeneration. What happens when you've depleted your serotonin stores? You take larger doses of SSRI's to squeeze even more serotonin out. Eventually, you will build up a huge tolerance, permanently alter your serotonin system in a negative way, and exchange your secondary depression due to CFS/ME for horrid primary depression. SSRI~MDMA/Ecstacy=EVIL

    NeuroScan Neurotransmitter test is unreliable and not approved by any legit medical organizations to be used as a measurement for neurotransmitters. You can ask any MD/psychiatrist, they will all tell you there is no blood test for neurotransmitters. AD's are nothing but russian roulette.
  14. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    If you're using 5-htp for depression, you may not feel anything until after 1-2 months of continual use. It takes time for your body/brain to build up serotonin stores. I've never had depression so i can't comment on how 5-htp can help with depression, but it does help with my sleep(200mg before sleep).
  15. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I noticed a good change in two days and it all got better and better. Being so ill my seratonin had gotten low. My doctor tests my blood for a lot of things every six months. My level is up. Sleep is better too. I take it in the morning and and night. I have a supplement regime that my doctor and I put together for me. Good luck!

    Each person is different and the dose is different too so it may take a little longer for some people.
  16. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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