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Table of Contents > Drugs >  5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

What is this medicine used for?

5-HTP is a chemical that itself does very little. However, after it is ingested, the body converts it to serotonin, an important chemical in conditions such as depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, pain, appetite, migraines, weight management, and insomnia/sleep disturbances.


How does it work?

The body converts 5-HTP to serotonin (commonly referred to as a neurotransmitter) which has a direct affect on moods and emotions.


How is it best taken?
  • Take this product with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Take this product with a full glass of water.
  • Take this product at a similar time every day.

  • What do I do if I miss a dose?
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.

  • What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
  • Check medicines and natural products with healthcare provider. This natural product may not mix well with other medicines or natural products.
  • Do not use if you are taking monamine oxidase inhibitors or other antidepressants.
  • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor) and other medicines that slow your actions and reactions. This includes sedatives, tranquilizers, mood stabilizers, and pain medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Use with caution if you have diabetes. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Use with caution if you have high blood pressure. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicines or natural products. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

  • What are the common side effects of this medicine?
  • Belly pain and cramps.
  • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Diarrhea. Yogurt, Bifidobacterium bifidum , or Lactobacillus acidophilus may help.
  • Anorexia.

  • What should I monitor?
  • Check blood sugar as directed by healthcare provider.
  • Check blood pressure regularly.

  • Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Severe diarrhea.

  • How should I store this medicine?
  • Store in original container at room temperature.
  • Protect from moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

  • General statements
  • Nutraceuticals are a type of dietary supplement that provide a specific amount of a substance that offers possible health benefits.
  • Nutraceutical products are almost always obtained from plant or animal sources.
  • In general, nutraceutical doses are much higher than the amount that could be obtained from food sources.
  • These products have the potential to provide significant benefits and possible risks. Use nutraceuticals with caution if you are taking pharmaceutical medications (prescription and others), herbs, or other natural products. Always review for potential nutraceutical-drug, nutraceutical-herb, and nutraceutical-natural product interactions with your healthcare provider.

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