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5 HTP Feedback and Side Effects

Just so all will know, this is from the person who owns this website.

I was rather depressed for a few years of my life. Some would probably describe my depression as suicidal. I stopped breathing multiple times.

I attribute most of my depression to being employed as a nuclear reactor operator on a fast attack submarine in the US navy.

Since I have got out of the navy most of the depression has lifted. ENVIRONMENT IS A HUGE FACTOR.

Anyway when I feel depressed I usually take 5 HTP and find it does well for me. I take vitamins reguarly and work out too. I also have found that my current job is exactly what I want to do...its not hard for me to be happy.

I know when I am starting to sway the other way sometimes though. When I sense it comming I take 5 HTP and I feel better in a few hours typically.

Other than when I took huge doses for many days in a row I have never noticed any of the side effects people talk about from SSRI's.

The time when I took way too much for many days in a row to see what it would do I noticed some of the side effects that many people who take SSRI's talk about.

It is in my opinion that many of the people who feel these side effects heavily are actuall being prescribed a drug they do not need which is futher throwing their neurochemistry out of wack.

Overly elevated serotonin levels are just as bad as low levels. Everything in life in done in persuit of a balance. Many people who experience the worst side effects from SSRI's are those who are over prescribed it, or those who are prescribed it who do not have low serotonin levels.

thanks for reading and best of luck,

Posted by: aaron wall at December 1, 2003 1:55 PM

I have struggled with this stuff since I was about 17 years old. I have tried, Kava, T.Johns and prescription also and I am still looking. I have major Panic attacks and depression and I am now 51 years old still looking for some peace, and keeping a lid on it will others will not know my hang-ups, and its hard. Thanks to the time and effort you have put into your web to educate people on these issues. I will start taking your advice as of today and I hope it helps me, as well as, others.
Thanks Again,
Fort Worth, Texas

Posted by: RD at February 10, 2004 8:52 PM

I have been doing some extensive reading on the topic, and because most people are self prescribing this stuff, they need to know that overdosing is DANGEROUS and can lead to coma and death. One thing I read was to try 100 mg 3 x a day. Not to exceed 900 mg a day. I wonder what the author of this site took as a "high dose"

Posted by: kim at July 4, 2004 4:47 PM

Hi Kim
actually I think I am somewhat like a digital signal perhaps. In the past I would say that I was more close to being bipolar vice being depressed. Usually taking a small dose (one 100 mg / day) of 5 HTP made a profound difference for me. The results I saw were exceptional.

What I actually considered a large dose was 3 / day. Off the start it was good, but after about a week I started noticing some of the things people were commonly describing with SSRI drugs.

Everything you do is just finding a balance. I think most people who died probably took enough to start noticing side effects and then continued to take more (further elevating their serotonin levels).

Remember the drug companies have a ton of money to market just how bad 5 HTP is. None of them are so I think in most cases it would be a good idea to start slowly with 5 HTP vice jumping on an SSRI.

I am not a doctor, but I understand *somewhat* the mechanisms by which these drugs act. and understand that for most people it probably is going to be far far far easier to stop taking 5 HTP than it is to stop taking SSRIs.

Posted by: at July 5, 2004 4:44 AM

I have found 5-HTP an invaluable help with my long-term depression. I have always had episodes of deep depression which mean that I cannot get out of bed and cope with the day-to-day. 5-HTP has lifted me completely out of what felt like an unnatural state and back into the natural flow of human moods. My hormonal patterns were affected;I had had no periods for two years after I stopped taking prozac and they have come back regular as clockwork with 5-htp with none of the side effects of prozac. I am a real advocate of 5-HTP for those peole who suffer debiltating long term depression, it isn't a cure and counselling helped me through as well, but it certainly helps to regulate the body enough to give you hope and energy again.

Posted by: Baden at October 13, 2006 10:07 AM

I have been taking 5-Htp for about a week. I've been taking it in the morning, and for about 2 hours afterward I can hardly function. Yesterday was nausea and today I have a terrible headache above my right eye. Has anyone else experienced these problems and do they go away?

Posted by: Amber at October 31, 2006 10:41 AM

people who report side effects with 5HTP often describe such symptoms immediately after taking it, or after several days. Remember, side effects are often a preliminary phenomenong which occurs while the brain is readjusting serotonin levels which for years, may have been lacking. When you consider the often horrible effects from SSRI's, i wouldn't discontinue 5HTP because of some mild stomach upset, a wired feeling, etc. These are likely to pass. However, i would highly advise not taking 5HTP during the day because it can really zonk you out. Best to take an hour before bed with some food and milk in the stomach. Like any substance which affects brain chemistry, 5HTP should be taken in the lowest dosage at first (25-50mg) for about one week; then if no appreciable side effects, increase dosage to 100mg.

good luck.

Posted by: Ron at January 13, 2007 8:02 PM

i've been depressed since i can remember.The only thing that sort of helped me feel "normal" again is 5-htp.I started taking it to increase my threshold for pain in my leg due to a sprain yada yada yada ...not to be taken at night better in evening to chill you out a little after dealing with lifes stresses.i feel like its my little secret.I a;so suffer from bulimia and i haven felt the urge to binge so its sort of a miracle.I'm not saying it perfected my life but it has given me some breathing room to reflect on where my life is headed and what i want out of life.My hope for people suffering from depression is to try to make small changes in their lifestyle like diet and excercise as opposed to trusting the drug companies to tell us how we should be feeling.I'ts a bit too george orwell 1984 for my taste.Now if you do take 5-htp dont abuse it eventhough youre using it as last resort take as little as possible.Everything in moderation.Take good care of yourselves .Love ,peace ,and ,true happiness.

Posted by: betty at March 9, 2007 4:05 AM

This is the best alternative med ever. I feel great after taking 5HTP. Don't go on Antidepressents from your doctors. They will turn you into a zombie. Be positive and think natural.

Posted by: alison at February 4, 2008 7:01 AM

I have been taking 5HTP for about three years. Between it and prayer, it helped me to rebound after an emotionally traumatic event. I was gripped by terrors and severe anxiety. Actually, I was to the point that I was afraid to interact with people at all.

Some days I took between 200 and 400mg over a period two years. For the last few months I average about 150mg. The body is a miraculous creation in that when we put in what it requires it will acheive homeostasis. Diet, nutrients, and exercise all contribute to our health. It is the way God created us.

We just need to do our part. Forgiveness was critical in my return to an emotional state of well being. I am thankful for the supplement and the research done on it. Thanks to the internet, we can take a more active role in our health. Thanks for your site Mr. Wall.

Posted by: Tony at November 17, 2008 7:40 PM

I just wanted to encourage everyone who has suffered from depression, insomnia, etc. Life is hard and I appreciated reading Tony's comment about forgiveness. I so believe that is much of the problem in our society, is deep rooted anger and not even realizing it. I have a condition which causes terrible insomnia and it is so hard to function and you think it's never gonna get better and then the answer comes, it does get better. Be encouraged, try to think of those who are worse off than you, be grateful, count your blessings, avoid negative people. God bless....

Posted by: Karen at January 13, 2009 2:41 AM

Hi, I am currently on Lexapro but just can't cope with the weight gain anymore so bought the 5-HTP. Do you know if I can just start taking it and stop the Lexapro or whether I need to wean myself off of the Lexapro and then start the 5-HTP? I've read loads on this but can't find anything that addresses this question. Thanks Lisa

Posted by: Lisa at February 9, 2009 3:17 PM

I've suffered from insomnia since I was in elementary school, and I've been dealing with horrible social anxiety and depression since my early teenage years. I never could have imagined anything helping me as much as 5-HTP has.

I took it at first for the effect it has on sleep, just 100mg before bed. After a few weeks of use, I noticed that the world was a much more pleasant place. People were easier to talk to, setbacks were just setbacks, and I could sit down and be content with doing whatever it was I was doing. I could experience satisfaction.

I stopped taking 5-HTP, and everything was fine for about a week. After that, it all started to degrade again until I was, once again, lost in depression. I started taking 5-HTP again, and once again, the world was a calmer, more beautiful place.

After several such cycles, I finally admitted to myself that I have a neurological problem, and there's no way I can conquer it through sheer willpower. 5-HTP has truly been a blessing, brightening my day in such subtle ways that it feels completely natural. Indeed, it's hard to recognize that the 5-HTP is doing anything at all until you remove it from the equation.

If you're having trouble sleeping, are feeling stagnant, lost, nervous, and depressed, give 5-HTP a try. I probably sound like a salesman here, but the stuff has had a truly profound impact on my life. I've tried almost every supplement you can imagine for my problems, including basic vitamins, and if I had choose only 1 supplement to have access to for the rest of my life... 5-HTP would be it. No contest.

I did notice some side effects if I tried taking it during the day. Mostly, it made it harder to concentrate and made me a bit drowsy. Thankfully, taking it at night before bed gives me just the subtle, NON-DRUGLIKE effect I'm looking for.

Posted by: Daniel at June 29, 2009 2:52 AM

I have been supplementing with 5HTP for a while now and I feel better. The 5HTP I'm taking is part of a supplement that consists of several other ingredients such as ST. John's Worth, B Vitamins, etc. But I definitely feel better since taking MoodBoost Drink.

Posted by: Jim at September 3, 2009 12:49 PM

5 htp has been great for me. For years I have been fighting social anxiety and minor depression. I used to meditate for 2 hours a day because I didn't want to take anything. A few months ago I started taking st johns which helped a little with depression, but social was still bad. Then started 5 htp and finally feel normal! - or close to it. I can actually have a normal coversation and do not freak before a social event. I can honestly say I finally don't care what people think, I'm finally myself! Thanks 5 htp!

Posted by: Jo at February 2, 2010 2:08 AM

I have been plagued by PMS. Every month I would look back and wonder why I had an angry outburst, or said something I didn't mean. Rage. Or maybe the world would come crashing down on me all at once and I would just break down and cry. Sadness. Or I would need unhealthy food to ease my stress. Anxiety. 5HTP has helped so much. I feel MUCH more in control. Phew! I take 100mg once a day either for one week per month, or whenever I feel I need it. I haven't had any bad side effects.

As a side note, smoking pot to relieve depression tends to backfire, especially if done in excess! Be mindful that most easy escapes have not so easy side effects. I highly recommend yoga, especially for my fellow PMS friends.

Hope this helps someone :)

Posted by: Tara at November 8, 2010 6:40 PM

My Goodness... I dont know whats worse, to read or not to read what people have to say about something. I am going through an unfortunate period in my life experiencing horrible anxiety probably caused by my hormone imbalance as I am apparently peri menopausal and I am trying to find testimonials that can help me decide whether or not I should get started on HTP5 ??? For every positive comment I read, I also read a negative... so whats the deal guys???? My true concern is will HTP5 actually take my anxiety away and if it is truly effective ... or will it cause further problems? Maybe the pharmacists should be the ones to answer these questions... fair enough everyone reacts differently to medicine even if its naturally based.... but as I read that HTP 5 is quiet a lot safer than the tough drugs than I guess we must give it a try. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks and best of luck to all those suffering from this horrific anxiety problem

Posted by: Mercedes at October 9, 2012 2:57 PM

I have been taking 5-htp 200mg and L-theanine. I stared getting really red in the face like a sun burn. Looked up HPT side effects, and it can cause red face. Has anyone else had this problem? When did it go away?

Posted by: shannon at May 5, 2016 8:58 PM

Start a Blog

Many people who are depressed simply lack the ability to channel their energies or express themselves. Sometimes just by writing things down it is easy to feel better about things that happen to you.

If you think expressing yourself or writing your thoughts down might help you then you may want to start a blog. Wordpress is 100% free and easy to use.

Here is my friend Heather's Health Bee, which is about recovering from depression and other related illnesses.