If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you
should not use 5-HTP without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Individuals taking the antidepressant medications known as selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (such as fluoxetine, paroxetine,
sertraline, and citalopram) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (such as
phenelzine, isocarboxazid, selegiline, and tranylcypromine) should not use 5-HTP
as these medications enhance the action of these drugs and may increase the risk
for developing a dangerous condition known as "serotonin syndrome." Serotonin
syndrome is characterized by mental status changes, rigidity, hot flashes,
rapidly fluctuating blood pressure and heart rate, and possibly coma. Similarly,
other drugs for depression that interfere with the uptake of the
neurotransmitter serotonin, namely trazodone and venlafexine, may also lead to
serotonin syndrome when used along with 5-HTP.
Taking 5-HTP with carbidopa, a medication used to treat Parkinson's disease,
has been associated with side effects including scleroderma-like illnesses (a
condition in which the skin becomes hard, thick, and inflamed).
Similar to antidepressants, sumatriptan, a
medication used for migraine headaches that works by stimulating serotonin
receptors in the brain, should also not be used in combination with 5-HTP
because of the risk for serotonin syndrome.
Tramadol, used for pain control, may also increase serotonin levels too much
if taken in combination with 5-HTP. Serotoninsyndrome has been reported in some
people taking the two together.
Use of zolpidem, a medication for insomnia, can cause hallucinations when
used with SSRI antidepressants. Because 5-HTP may work similarly to SSRIs, the
combination of 5-HTP with zolpidem could, theoretically, lead to hallucinations