Drug info - 5-HTP for depression

Discussion in 'Nootropics' started by Jadegreen, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Jadegreen

    Jadegreen Silver Member

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    Last August I was prescribed sertraline (Zoloft) for depression. When I first started taking it, the side effects were horrible, but after about 3 days, they alleviated. However as I continued taking it, I felt less and less like myself, and I was getting snappy at people, getting angrier more easily.

    About the same time I went on Zoloft, I had heard about 5-HTP, which I learned contained precursors to the production of serotonin, which is the chemical that Zoloft 'recycles'. Since I was no longer taking Zoloft as I was unhappy with the long term effects, I started taking 5-HTP. The first time I took it, I threw up. I don't know if it was coincidence or because of the drug, but it scared me from taking it for awhile. However I started feeling mentally worse every day, so I figured "it was probably just a fluke" and decided to take 5-HTP this morning.

    I won't be able to tell short term effects until I take it again tomorrow.(I also took an ephedra and guarana herbal blend - of course a stimulant will make you feel good!) And the long term effects will not be known until a couple months have gone by. However I am willing to stick with it and see what happens.

    So, does anyone here have experience with 5-HTP? Even in recreational situations? Any input about 5-HTP, Zoloft, or other depression treatment (drugs or not) would be appreciated.

    ((I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum - I wasn't quite sure where to put it))
     
  2. Jadegreen

    Jadegreen Silver Member

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    To clarify dates, which may be confusing:

    August-October - I took 100 mg of Zoloft daily
    Mid-October - I stopped taking Zoloft (first going down to 50 mg)
    Late-November - took 5-htp for the first time (and threw up)
    Today - took 5-htp again, and have not thrown up yet! ^_^
     
  3. howlongisthenight

    howlongisthenight Newbie

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    I am currently taking 50mg 5-HTP to combat self diagnosed depression. SWIM may not actually have it, but symptoms included:
    -always being tired
    -finding life dull
    -having low self-esteem
    -sleeping too much

    I have been taking it for a week and it seems to be working. I hadnt had bad day since taking it, I am no longer ruminating about his faults, and he seems to be more of an optimist. Of course, at this point this could all be coincidence and SWIM may just have started taking it at a good point in his mental cycle. Placebo effect could also be present as well. But I will not say that it doesnt work as of yet.
     
  4. gotxp

    gotxp Newbie

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    Id also look into SAMe, I personally feel it works better for depression in my experience. The only problem with SAMe is it is much more expensive.
     
  5. DrMuffy

    DrMuffy Silver Member

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    Well if You does not like prescription anti-depressants (which porzac works superbly for me) he may want to try St. John's Wort also, it is a natural Sertatonin Inhibitor, so it could help. But You might want to try other prescription anti-depressants, because there are many others which do not create the same side effects of Zoloft. Haha, SWIdr suggests You consult a real doctor about treatment. Hope ths helps you out with this predicament!
     
  6. Jadegreen

    Jadegreen Silver Member

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    I'm going to wait until after my current psych retires to go back; I don't think it would be wise to start a new script with a doctor about to retire. (He's retiring in May) So until then I'll stick with the 5-HTP which seems to be working as well if not better than the Zoloft.

    (If we're talking about doing legal things, we don't have to use SWIM, right?)
     
  7. DrMuffy

    DrMuffy Silver Member

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    Answering that last question: This site is very strict with the "SWIM, you" rule, which I do not blame them for due to legal issues. It is hard to know when to use SWIM or I in some discussions, but now that I think about it, it would be aprapo to use "I or you" in this discussion.
    But back to the subject, yes that is a wise idea. Also, experimenting with different anti-depressant (prescribed by medical physicians of any kind) trials can be time consuming and vigorous, so if you think th 5-HTP is working well for you, you might just want to stick with it.
     
  8. London_Bloke

    London_Bloke Gold Member

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    Even though it may not be strictly necessary to use SWIM, it can be argued that the continued use of SWIM serves to keep one always vigilant against self-incrimination.

    You can never be dinged points for self-incrimination if You never uses anything but SWIM.

    It's somewhat like the old adage that if one always tells the truth, one need never keep one's lies straight. Constant use of SWIM means one less thing worry about.
    :D
     
  9. Cavy182

    Cavy182 Silver Member

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    I was on SSRIs for about nine years for chronic depression. He used them all, Prozac, zoloft, etc. About eight months ago SWIM and mate discovered RCs, particularly phens. Read a thread that indicated use of SSRIs might mitigate the effects of seritonin reacting Research Chemicals so SWIM, perhaps unwisely, stopped taking his SSRIs in hopes of enhancing the effects of the Research Chemicals which he was becoming increasingly fond of. Stopping the SSRIs did have the desired effects of enhancing the Research Chemicals but I was worried about his depression, which had been in check for many years, returning. SWIM's mate showed him a thread on 5-HTP use in mitigating the MDMA crash. I couldn't exactly bring the subject up with his shrink of doing recreational drugs so he decided to experiment with 5-HTP use instead of the SSRIs. I am not a doctor and does not pretend to have any answers for anyone except SWIM but replacing the SSRIs with regular 5-HTP (100 mg twice a day) use has effectively kept the depression away. Again, I am not suggesting that everyone go off their SSRIs but for this cavy 5-HTP has set him free.
     
  10. howlongisthenight

    howlongisthenight Newbie

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    So after a while on this substance (and increasing his stack to include some nootropics) I am still reporting positive results. Again, it is nothing you're going to take and be like, "hey I'm euphoric!" But over time I have been much more positive then in the past, and seems less prone to worthless brooding. I am making strides in many different hobbies and is doing well in school. 5-htp isn't that expensive, so SWIM reccomends to anyone who is interested to give it a trial and see how it works over a period of a month or so. Cheers!
     
  11. Fantasian

    Fantasian Gold Member

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    SWIF found 5HTP massively effective for fighting the depression associated with post MDMA use. It may only be effective in this contect because of how the depression is caused (ie lack of serotonin due to MDMA).

    SWIF when feeling down post use uses a high dose of Vitamin b6 (50mg) (which is used to create dopamine and serotonin) combined with a medium to high dose of 5HTP (150mg)

    SWIFs mother also is using 5HTP for post traumatic stress and finds it is effective however much less effective than SWIF finds it. She finds she gets tired and sleepy during the day while using it though.
     
  12. howlongisthenight

    howlongisthenight Newbie

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    Wikipedia says this, ". Contrary to the recommendations of supplement providers, 5-HTP should not taken concomitant with Vitamin B6, as the combination can lead to toxic accumulation of 5-HT (seratonin) in the blood."
    But SWIM trusts You and is happy to see that You has found a theraputic dose for you.
     
  13. Nacumen

    Nacumen Gold Member

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    I was about to quote the same thing.

    Here's a little story for you all, followed by some potentially critical information.

    Today I was browsing his local supplement supplier for cheap 5-HTP to buy. SWIM always buys the generic version of a drug if he can, because, well, an active ingredient is an active ingredient is an active ingredient. After comparing the prices of 3 different kinds of 5-HTP (let's call them Brand X, Y, and Z), he chooses Brand Z and goes to the checkout line. While waiting, he glances at the back of the pill bottle in boredom, and suddenly notices that he forgot to check the ingredients on this particular brand's bottle. To SWIM's surprise and dismay, not only was there 50mg of 5-HTP in each pill of Brand Z, there were a slew of other active ingredients and vitamins, including Vitamin B-6.

    I had luckily just read the wikipedia entry on 5-HTP the night before, and this struck him as a dangerous red flag, but he was of course confused as to why two conflicting chemicals would be included in the same pill. SWIM put the questionable 5-HTP back onto the shelf and instead selected the slightly more expensive brand, Brand X which, as SWIM double-checked, contained only 5-HTP as an active ingredient. SWIM checked out and drove home, thankful that he had done the responsible thing and prevented possible issues down the road, unless of course, he was wrong, but he felt better safe than sorry.

    After a return visit to wikipedia, SWIM rediscovered the section that provided him the information, then checked it's source to determine it's legitimacy, and currently I have no reason to distrust it.

    Reading the original source gave some interesting information that I think is worthwhile to share here.

    "Alas, one company I know packages their 5-HTP in 50 mg
    capsules with 10 mg of B6. They do this ostensibly so that 5-HTP
    can be converted to serotonin in the brain. Duh. This insures
    that any 5-HTP will get converted to serotonin in the liver
    instead, and thus never make it to the brain. Vitamin B6 is the
    *LAST* thing you want in an 5-HTP product.

    At the very best, people who take B-vitamins with 5-HTP, or
    who take 5-HTP products with B6, waste their money. All this
    would be merely humorous (caveat emptor) were it not for some
    other facts. At worst, ignorant people fooling with 5-HTP
    actually risk their health, since serotonin in the peripheral
    blood is not benign. Serotonin causes not only harmless flushing
    and diarrhea, but people with serotonin secreting tumors (hindgut
    carcinoids) also have problems with fibrosis of the endocardium
    and valves in their right hearts, which can cause heart failure.
    This fibrosis is caused by the serotonin. This effect can also
    be seen with dietary intake of only modest amounts of serotonin,
    and there has actually been described in the medical literature a
    tribe of South Sea islanders with right heart fibrosis as a
    result of eating green banana mash (matuki), which poisons them
    with its serotonin content. No, I'm not making this up. The
    hydroxylation of tryptophan is a rate-limiting step in the
    peripheral production of serotonin, and one bypasses it at one's
    peril.

    How much does it take? Several hundred milligrams of 5-HTP
    taken per day, if converted to serotonin, would result in a
    urinary excretion of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleac-
    etic acid (5-HIAA) of several hundred milligrams also-- an amount
    well within the urinary excretion range of the average person
    with a serotonin producing carcinoid. Such a dose of 5-HTP
    certainly would result in a serotonin blood load comparable to
    that of green-banana-diet eating people who have
    serotonin-induced heart valve disease. Normally, people do not
    excrete breakdown products of more than 10 mg of serotonin
    metabolites per day. If you take one capsule per day of 50 mg
    5-HTP with 10 mg B6, however, you would be expected to go to at
    least 50 mg per day of 5-HIAA in the urine. Less metabolism in
    the liver (less B6) would result in less 5-HIAA in the urine. If
    you are going to take 5-HTP, therefore, you probably need 5-HIAA
    urine monitoring, to figure out just how big a dose of systemic
    serotonin you're actually getting (and incidentally, how much
    5-HTP you're wasting)."

    The author of this source may well be on the payroll of Brand-Z, but I sincerely doubt it. Anyway, I'll leave that up to you guys to decide. I'm no authority on the matter, but the logic behind the argument makes sense to me.

    Always research what you take, and always double-check what's in a bottle, even if it's labeled "5-HTP", you might be getting more than you bargained for. Of course, asking your physician never hurts either.

    As the author of the article said, "Caveat Empor".
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  14. pankreeas

    pankreeas Gold Member

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    Swim seconds the notion to try Sam-e. Canada only just got wise to the many benefits of it. I believe it was banned for quite some time before that.

    Here's an article that gives a good overview of Tryptophan for depression and seratonin deficiency syndrome, without getting too technical.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2017
  15. Ximot

    Ximot Newbie

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    With this 5-HTP fibrositis issue, does anyone know whether L-Tryptophan itself is safer?
     
  16. Fantasian

    Fantasian Gold Member

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    SWIF has found it somewhat hard in the UK to find a 5HTP only product, all of them appear to come with 5HTP and B6
     
  17. Micklemouse

    Micklemouse Platinum Member & Advisor

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    AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!! When is this misinformation going to end!!!

    1) Tryptophan from turkey. Absolute twaddle I'm afraid. The amont of tryptophan in a serving of turkey is negligible, & certainly nowhere enough to cause sleepiness, never mind cross the blood-brain barrier. What people are experiencing after such hearty meals as Thanksgiving or Christmas is a carbohydrate torpor, brought about by the fact that digesting large meals takes energy before energy is gained & fats used in the preparation or released from the bird also slow down the metabolism as a whole. In order for tryptophan to cause drowsiness it needs to be taken on an empty stomach, & without the presence of proteins. What is involved in a turkey dinner? A full stomach & loads of protein... In fact carbohydrates may play a bigger part in the increase of serotonin in the blood stream

    http://chemistry.about.com/od/holidaysseasons/a/tiredturkey.htm

    Thanksgiving Mystery: Does Turkey Make You Sleepy?

    As for milk, certainly regular drinking may supplement the amount of serotonin in the body to an extent, but again there is not enough to cause drowsiness.

    2) This whole fibrositis, 5htp & vitamin b thing - there is no hard evidence whatsoever to support this misinformation. The newsgroup posting linked to above contains no references, & only 10 year old supposition (yes, check the dates! It's over 10 (ten) years old!). If hard evidence that this was even a possibility had been found, do you really think these combination supplements would still be on the market? Come on folks! The FDA & related organistions around the world are a lot more keen to jump on supplements than they are on "traditional " meds.

    I repeat, & spell out large -

    M-I-S-I-N-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N

    Remember also, that while there is a lot of good stuff on Wikipedia, it can also be edited by anyone with an agenda, potentially completely negating it's usefulness & reliability as an information source.

    SWiFantasian - Nature's Aid 5htp contains no other active ingredients. A little pricey, but good stuff!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2017
  18. Fantasian

    Fantasian Gold Member

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    Thanks Mouse. In your oppinion would you stick to the 5-HTP stand alone forumla's too? SWIF is looking from the point of view of serotonin depletion due to various recreational substances.
     
  19. Micklemouse

    Micklemouse Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Horses for courses really. A Certain Mouse rates the Nature's Aid Hydroxytryptophan highly, for avoiding "that Tuesday feeling", & for treating depression. He can't see anything wrong with the combination brands per se though - if you need a boost in yer vitamin B's (& many people do!), then why not take them both together in one handy tablet? A Certain Mouse has used them & had good results. The Mouse's preference is to take them separately though- he doesn't need a regular boost in serotonin anymore, & has a relatively healthy diet so his supplement intake is less than it used to be anyway. However, if his alcohol intake steps up he'll step up the B complex, if his mood drops he'll step up the 5htp, & if he has a heavy weekend partying, he'll step up both (preloading with B complex, postloading with 5htp as preloading just leads to mess!).
     
  20. Nacumen

    Nacumen Gold Member

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    Micklemouse, you simply state that the science presented in the wikipedia article is false, yet you fail to state why, the most crucial element of all when denouncing such a thing. At this point, I am more inclined to believe the article, because the author at least gave a logical explanation of why the combination is potentially dangerous (even if it isn't true, it at least made sense to me).

    Please prove the article wrong using facts for the betterment of our collective knowledge. Otherwise, we are lost and do not know what to believe.