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#1 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:04 PM

There has been ongoing discussions concerning 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan on this site for quite a few years but no real information on it (at least anything easy to find) so I decided I would find out what I could and post it so that each member can make their own decision on whether it is something they want to try.

 

There are several medical/medication information websites that have it listed if you can figure out what name they have it listed under (trust me it goes by many names ;) and I now know more than I wanted to)

 

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical that the body makes from tryptophan (an essential amino acid, which you get from food). After tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, the chemical is then changed into another chemical called serotonin (a neurotransmitter, which relays signals between brain cells). 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior, 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation.

5-HTP is not found in the foods we eat, although tryptophan is. Eating foods with tryptophan does not increase 5-HTP levels very much, however. As a supplement, 5-HTP is made from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia.
Source: http://www.umm.edu/a...m#ixzz2Q0VyOr4w
 

5-hydroxytryptophan has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia, chronic headaches, premenstrual syndrome, binge-eating related to obesity, attention deficit disorder, and chronic headaches. 5-hydroxytryptophan has also been used in treating certain seizures and symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Source: http://www.drugs.com/

 

"Don’t use 5-HTP until more is known. 5-HTP might be UNSAFE."

Source: http://www.webmd.com/ So is Crapalta but they don't warn us about it B)

 

A total of 74 drugs (242 brand and generic names) are known to interact with 5-hydroxytryptophan.

55 major drug interactions

19 moderate drug interactions

For the complete list and to see what the interaction is go to:

http://www.drugs.com...=3&generic_only=

 

To summarize, after all my searching, I have learned the following:

1. 5-HTP is changed into serotonin

2. Our body uses tryptophan to make 5-HTP

3. Vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium are necessary for the metabolization of tryptophan. In addition, tyrosine and phenylalanine compete with tryptophan for absorption.

4. Several dietary, lifestyle, and health factors reduce the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, including cigarette smoking, high sugar intake, alcohol abuse, excessive consumption of protein, hypoglycemia and diabetes.

5. Depression, anxiety, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, inability to concentrate, weight gain or unexplained weight loss, slow growth in children, overeating and/or carbohydrate cravings, poor dream recall, and insomnia can all be signs that a person may need more tryptophan.

6. The following foods contain tryptophan: red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans and soy products, tuna, shellfish, and turkey.

 

But the most important thing for me to learn was:

If I concentrate on one topic long enough I am able to A - completely ignore any side effects I am feeling; and B - actually complete a task. lol

 

So there it is peeps.

If anyone has tried it and will let me know what happened that would be great.

 

Take care of you

Nancy - lady2882 with too much time on her hands :D


#2 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:20 PM

By the way, I am having chicken for supper tonight lol


#3 Ryan1340

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:26 AM

I have taken 5-HTP before and it worked great for both mind and mood. But I tried it twice while I was on cymbalta and I got really sick both times. 

 


#4 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:26 AM

That would be due to Serotonin Syndrome which is too much serotonin in the brain which can cause agitation or restlessness, diarrhea, fast heart beat, increased body temperature, loss of coordination, nausea, rapid changes in blood pressure, confusion, tremor, coma and death.

 

That's why you need to talk to your pharmacisit before adding any naturopathic remedies when taking prescription meds.

 

Glad you stopped taking it.


#5 ladybugz

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:07 AM

I hope to eventually switch to 5-HTP or maybe SAM-E. Has anyone here heard of someone using either of these during Cymbalta (or another antidepressant) tapering?


#6 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 11:58 AM

You  should not take SAM e or 5-HTP while still on any SSRI or SSNRI like cymbalta as it can cause Serotonin Syndrome which is too much serotonin in the brain.

You need to wait until the cymbalta is out of your system before taking either of those 2 supplements


#7 ladybugz

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    Cymbalta has turned against me. I am looking for help and support during the lengthy withdrawal process.

Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:29 PM

Hmmm....that brings up a good question: about how long (on average) does it take for a med like this to completely filter out of your body?


#8 fishinghat

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:51 PM

Ladybugz, well cymbalta has a half life of around 12 hours so 50% gone in 12 hours, 75% gone in 24 hours, 87.5% gone in 36 hours, etc... BUT the bad news is that cymbalta, like most ssris are fat soluble and collect in the liver and fat deposits. As the blood serum level of cymbalta drops more is released from the fat into the liver extending its effect on a person. Lab tests have shown that cymbalta can still be detected in the blood of obese persons after 6 months!! Sucks!!! It does help explain the extended withdrawals for some people (like me lol).


#9 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:08 PM

Also explains the extended withdrawals for a busty woman too. :(

This is a nasty drug and any new meds or supplements should probably not be started in the first 6 weeks unless they do not have any affect on serontonin levels.

From personal experience use caution starting any new med, supplement, or herbal remedy especially in the first 12 weeks off cymbalta.


#10 Amysgarden

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:25 AM

Thank you for posting about this! I've had people recommend 5-HTP to me, in fact back when I was getting off Xanax and was still on Cymbalta. Fortunately I happened see the serotonin warning on the label before I made a bad mistake! But now that I'm off all SSRI/SNRI meds, I was thinking about the 5-HTP again. Definitely going to hold off on it, since I have been on SSRIs for the last nearly 20 years. Who knows how much of that stuff is still lurking in me. I'm HWP and really don't carry any extra weight to speak of, not at all busty, but not going to take the risk. I can wait for a few months.

#11 FiveNotions

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:45 AM

Amy, I've mentioned elsewhere on the forum that I take 5-htp, and I believe it's helping ... but I've limited the specifics because it's strong stuff and I don't want to be the cause of anyone making themselves feel worse, not better. Also, ThisMoment recommends tryptophan, the precursor to 5-htp, as being safer and milder .... TM's posted on this elsewhere as well, recently ...


#12 tria

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:55 PM

The ND I recently saw put me on 50mg of 5-HTP to help with the Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms.  Since I'm at a low dose of Cymbalta (around 8 or 9mg), she said it would be safe.  She said normally, you should NOT take this if you are taking any type of SSRI.  I think it has helped me.  I've been on it for about 3 weeks and my mood is better - less anxiety, definitely less crying, less of the "on and off" depression.  My head seems clearer and I just seem to feel more normal (knock on wood - don't want to jinx myself!)  I can't say this is all due to the 5-HTP as she started me on a few other supplements as well but I only start one new supplement at a time, give it a couple weeks then start another, and my mood did improve after starting the 5-HTP. 

 

Again, my ND was very serious in her warning about taking it with the Cymbalta.  She put me on a low dose and told me I was NOT to increase it and if I had to go back up on my Cymbalta that I should stop it and contact her to see if it was safe to continue it.  If you do take this with Cymbalta, I don't think you're supposed to take them at the same time.  I take my Cymbalta at night (since it always made me dizzy) and I was told to take the 5-HTP in the morning.  Not 100% sure on this but thought I'd mention it.   Also, I don't know what other meds or supplements 5-HTP may interact with.  Your doctor may know, or a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) definitely should, or maybe a pharmacist as well?


#13 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:18 PM

That would be the right way to take it tria and it would help as you would be only dealing with the change in norepinephrine instead of both the changes in norepinephrine and serotonin.

 

When I first posted this information we had many members who were trying it without any guidance from someone who understood both what 5-HTP was and what Cymbalta  was which was very dangerous (I still think of it as Crapalta).

 

It's been a long time since I have posted anything on the site due to the problems taking this antidepressant caused me. I have to type up my story one of these days and post it.


#14 FiveNotions

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:56 PM

LadyNancy, wow, hello! When I first found this wonderful place I was several weeks into a very hard and horrible cold turkey withdrawal ... I learned so much from your posts, and I've wondered where you've been and how you're doing!

 

Please tell us ... how long have you been off now? It sounds like you're still having some "crapalta days" in the mix ... what effects are you still dealing with?

 

Gosh, please don't go away again .... it would be wonderful to have you back here and posting again ... even if just every few days!!


#15 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:41 PM

I have been completely off since March 28, 2013 but the pain has yet to end. That will make it 17 months on Thursday.

 

Never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) did I imagine a drug could mess up my life like this one has. I will be posting more in a day or so but I have always read much of what was going on here just didn't post myself. It's been tough as only fishinghat is still here from the ones that got off it when I was.

 

Take care of you


#16 thismoment

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:56 PM

Hi Lady Nancy
Great to hear from you! I'm off 25 months and still improving!

#17 fishinghat

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:00 AM

Good sound info Tria. The risk of taking 5-HTP with any ssri/snri is seratonin syndrome, a potentially devestating condition.  And like you say that 8 or 9 mg dose you are currently taking is low enough she didn't have concerns.

 

Good post Tria.


#18 tria

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 07:48 PM

Lady Nancy - your first post on 5-HTP was very helpful.  I always like to learn as much as I can about meds, supplements, etc that I am taking. I'm sure you still have lots of great insight to offer - hope to see more posts from you! 


#19 Amysgarden

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:24 PM

Been awhile since I dropped in. I've been busy fighting depression again. I'd been taking 5-HTP, and it seemed to be working fine. And so I stopped taking it about a week and a half ago, thinking maybe I was finally ok. Not so much. Past few mornings have been rough. This morning I was back to additional stuff, such as joint pain, stomach trouble, and a boatload of anxiety. Sigh.

I guess this means the stuff really works. I'm nervous about getting back on and staying on it....blood/brain barrier thing and all. But I can barely function at times, and I am NOT going back to the SSRIs.

Anyone have opinions on particular brands and what is safest?

#20 fishinghat

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 10:10 AM

Good to hear from you AG. I will see if anyone has done a comparison of brands. Also, next time you get the urge to stop the 5-HTP do it slowly and give your body a chance to adapt.


#21 fishinghat

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 10:36 AM

Sorry AG but I couldn't find where anyone did a direct comparison of effectiveness of different brands of 5htp.

 

There were a lot of sites which listed the top 5 brands by sales. Jarrow being one of the top ones each year.


#22 Amysgarden

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 08:17 PM

Thanks, FH! Good to see you back as well! I hadn't thought about tapering the 5-HTP because I was just taking one 50mg tab at night. They are enteric coated, so I'm not sure they should be broken. Any thoughts?

#23 brzghoff

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:02 PM

amy,

 

you can check out the amazon reviews, certainly not scientific or the voice of authority, but as far as perceived effectiveness it might give you a good idea.  the top brands listed have 300-350 reviews. that oughta balance out the fake ones posted by their respective marketing departments. 

 

i have 0 experience with 5-htp. since you have taken it before with success, i have confidence that you know what you are doing. five notions likes to remind people of the potential for other psychoactive drugs or suppliments to interact with 5-htp causing serotonin syndrome. 


#24 fishinghat

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 08:59 AM

No AG, if they are enteric coated I wouls leave them alone. Just a thought.


#25 FiveNotions

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 03:00 AM

Amy, I still take 5-HTP, but not daily as I had been doing ... mine are sold by "Pilgrim's Pride" and are in gel caps that, like crapalta caps, can be opened .... I think the "NOW" brand also comes in gel caps that can be opened ...

 

How long had / have you been taking it? Because it crosses the BB barrier, and acts on the serotonin receptors, as does Cymbalta, it must also be reduced gradually ... so it's entirely possible that your brain became "accustomed" to it, and is now giving you some withdrawal symptoms ...

 

5-HTP is a powerful amino, but nowhere near as powerful as Cymbalta , so the symptoms should be milder and fade faster... however, I suggest that you go back on it and wait until you don't have these symptoms... while you're stabilizing, get either the Pilgrim's Pride or the NOW brand in the gel caps ... both are available online... NOW via Amazon.com and PP directly from the company website ... the PP price is much better .... and the quality seems the same to me ... when you're symptom free, use the gel caps and open them and remove a small amount every day, or every other day .... over the course of at least 2 weeks ...


#26 Amysgarden

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 01:03 AM

I started taking it, I think, in September. I remember waiting a bit for the cymbalta to clear my system but then started going into total rage and suicidal ideation. I'm most of the way through my second bottle of 60 tabs, so maybe 100 days that I've taken it. It makes a huge difference, especially since I was really concerned about getting through the dark part of the year. And my quitting it was kind of random. I was feeling fine, and I thought that maybe since I was only taking 50 mg, it might not matter. But it wasn't just side effects necessarily. It was the general depression that crept back in. Sometimes I wonder how much of my perceived "discontinuation" is actually that or anxiety symptoms that have come back.

Anyway, I am back on 50 mg at night, and I'm coping fine again. I'm going to wait until spring before I try to reduce it. I have to be able to work, and better a small amount of 5-HTP than ending up back on the antidepressants. At some point I may need to come to terms with my brain and mental issues and whether I will ever be able to be med/supplement free.

#27 FiveNotions

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 08:18 AM

Amy, you've clearly proven that 5HTP works for you ... and at a low dose ... I see no reason why you should "have" to get off of it ...

 

many of the prescription meds that we take for depression and anxiety are just supplements that have been "jazzed up" by the pharma cos ... if a non-Rx supplement works, that's far, far preferable (in my opinion anyway) to an Rx med ...

 

5HTP worked/works great for me as well ... I did stop using it daily, and have been using it just once in a while, and was doing just fine ... however, I'm now actually considering going back on it daily, as I've been working a really stressful temp job, and I'm starting to feel a bit "unsteady" ...

 

The goal here, as TM always says, is quality of life ... and my corollary to that is ... with as few Rx meds as possible, and at the lowest dose possible ...

 

Be gentle and patient with yourself, with your brain ... :)


#28 AKAnole

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 06:11 PM

Five Notions, 

 

How long were you on Cymbalta? Then how long were you off before starting 5 HTP. I was on Cymbalta for 6 years and, thanks to this site, I started bead counting and finally stopped altogether in August. In September I started using 5 HTP. I've experimented with the dosage, but I'm still trying to find the sweet spot.  Right now I take 150mg in the morning but now it seems like I need more so I started to follow that with 100 in the afternoon. I take melatonin at night due to having delayed sleep phase disorder so I don't think I should take the 5 HTP at night. When and how much do you take? Also how long have you been taking it?


#29 gail

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 06:38 PM

Hello Aka,

FiveNotions is on leave of absence for the time being.

You can perhaps pm her.

#30 fishinghat

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 08:36 AM

Here is some info posted earlier about 5HTP that I thought you should know.Here is some info on 5HTP you might consider.



A special thanks to Lady Nancy for much of this info.



5 HTP



Warnings on its use.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3415362/



Moderate effect of 5HTP on anxiety

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/3312397



Side Effects












5-HTP is POSSIBLY SAFE when taking by mouth. However, some people who have taken it have come down with eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities (eosinophilia). Some people think EMS might be caused by an accidental ingredient (contaminant) in some 5-HTP products. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know if EMS is caused by 5-HTP, a contaminant, or some other factor. Until more is known, 5-HTP should be used cautiously.

Other potential side effects of 5-HTP include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: 5-HTP is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth when pregnant or breast-feeding. Avoid using it.

Down syndrome: There are reports of 5-HTP causing seizures in some people with Down syndrome. In one group studied, 15% of people with Down syndrome receiving long-term 5-HTP treatment experienced seizures.



Interactions

Medications for depression (Antidepressant drugs) interacts with 5-HTP













5-HTP increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications for depression also increase serotonin. Taking 5-HTP along with these medications for depression might increase serotonin too much (seratonin syndrome) cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take 5-HTP if you are taking medications for depression.

Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.

In addition, there are many other drug interactions with 5htp.

References







5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical that the body makes from tryptophan (an essential amino acid, which you get from food). After tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, the chemical is then changed into another chemical called serotonin (a neurotransmitter, which relays signals between brain cells). 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior, 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation.

5-HTP is not found in the foods we eat, although tryptophan is. Eating foods with tryptophan does not increase 5-HTP levels very much, however. As a supplement, 5-HTP is made from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia.
Source: http://www.umm.edu/a...m#ixzz2Q0VyOr4w


5-hydroxytryptophan has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia, chronic headaches, premenstrual syndrome, binge-eating related to obesity, attention deficit disorder, and chronic headaches. 5-hydroxytryptophan has also been used in treating certain seizures and symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Source: http://www.drugs.com/



"Don’t use 5-HTP until more is known. 5-HTP might be UNSAFE."

Source: http://www.webmd.com/



A total of 74 drugs (242 brand and generic names) are known to interact with 5-hydroxytryptophan.

55 major drug interactions

19 moderate drug interactions

For the complete list and to see what the interaction is go to:

http://www.drugs.com...=3&generic_only



1. 5-HTP is changed into serotonin

2. Our body uses tryptophan to make 5-HTP

3. Vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium are necessary for the metabolization of tryptophan. In addition, tyrosine and phenylalanine compete with tryptophan for absorption.

4. Several dietary, lifestyle, and health factors reduce the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, including cigarette smoking, high sugar intake, alcohol abuse, excessive consumption of protein, hypoglycemia and diabetes.

5. Depression, anxiety, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, inability to concentrate, weight gain or unexplained weight loss, slow growth in children, overeating and/or carbohydrate cravings, poor dream recall, and insomnia can all be signs that a person may need more tryptophan.

6. The following foods contain tryptophan: red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans and soy products, tuna, shellfish, and turkey.





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