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Punarbhava

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and l-tryptophan

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Punarbhava

AKA 5htp and oxitriptan (INN)

[Also see our topic on SAM-e]

http://www.5-htp.net/Safety.asp

5-HTP Safety, Side Effects and Dangers


Safety and Side Effects

5-HTP appears to be well tolerated with few and relatively mild side effects, the most common being nausea. However, large doses of 5-HTP should be avoided as it can result in the formation of excessively high levels of serotonin in tissues other than the brain, resulting in significant adverse reactions.

5-HTP is generally better tolerated than its SSRI counterparts, such as Prozac®........



Source: 5-HTP The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia by Michael Murray, N.D.

5-HTP should not be taken concurrently with anti- depressants except under the supervision of a physician, because 5-HTP increases the activity of these drugs.

5-HTP should be avoided by pregnant women, nursing mothers and those with significant cardiovascular disease. It is also contraindicated in those with carcinoid tumors.

Large doses of 5-HTP may significantly increase serum levels of serotonin which, at least theoretically, may result in the serotonin syndrome which can be very serious, although there have been no reports of the syndrome occurring with use of 5-HTP in humans. Do not exceed 900 mg per day.

Vitamin B6 taken in doses of 5 milligrams or greater causes 5-HTP to be converted into serotonin before it passes into the brain. Since serotonin does not easily pass the blood-brain barrier as 5-HTP does, this effect is undesirable and can be detrimental.

May have additive effects with tryptophan, St John's wort, and SAMe.

Be sure to get 5-HTP from a reputable source to ensure purity, such as MedQuest Pharmacy.

As with any supplement, 5-HTP can be abused. However, when used wisely, it has proven itself to be a safe and effective supplement...........


*The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

PROZAC is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company.

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http://www.progressivehealth.com/5-htp-risks.asp

Dangers and Benefits of 5-HTP

5-HTP is a supplement used to help with many conditions, including depression, obesity, carbohydrate craving, bulimia, insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, migraine, headaches, and fibromyalgia.

Although there are several conditions, which are helped by, taking 5-HTP there are also dangers when taking it with out know how to take it.



Benefits of Taking 5-HTP

5-HTP is an amino acid. The body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan (an essential amino acid) and converts it to an important brain chemical known as serotonin.

Tryptophan and 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain, which may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation.

Depression - Low levels of serotonin in the brain can contribute to the development of depression. Many drugs prescribed for depression increase serotonin levels. Some studies indicate that 5-HTP may be as effective as certain antidepressant drugs in treating individuals with mild to moderate depression.

Such individuals have shown improvements in mood, anxiety, insomnia, and physical symptoms.

Fibromyalgia - 5-HTP has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce pain, stiffness, anxiety, and depression in individuals with fibromyalgia.
Insomnia - Medical research indicates that supplementation with tryptophan before bedtime can induce sleepiness and delay wake times. Studies also suggest that 5-HTP may be useful in treating insomnia associated with depression.
Headaches - Some studies suggest that 5-HTP may be effective in children and adults with various types of headaches including migraines.
Obesity - There is some evidence that low tryptophan levels may contribute to excess fat and carbohydrate intake.


When Not To Take 5-HTP

As with any supplement, 5-HTP can be abused. However, when used wisely, it has proven itself to be a safe and effective supplement.

While this supplement appears to be safe for most people, 5-HTP danger occurs when people mix 5-HTP with prescription medications and herbal supplements. Taking too much 5-HTP is also dangerous.

5-HTP should not be taken concurrently with anti- depressants except under the supervision of a physician, because 5-HTP increases the activity of these drugs. Mixing SSRI medications and 5-HTP may result in a rare but extremely serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

People with serotonin syndrome exhibit a variety of symptoms including confusion, restlessness, hallucinations, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Coma and death follow swiftly after symptoms appear.

5-HTP should be avoided by pregnant women, nursing mothers and those with significant cardiovascular disease.

It is also contraindicated in those with carcinoid tumors.


Mixing 5 HTP with herbal supplements for depression such as St. John's Wort is also not recommended. Like SSRI medications, St. John's Wort alters the delicate balance of brain chemistry. 5 HTP can tip the balance into dangerous territory.




5-HTP Overdose

Individuals who take 5-HTP may expect it to act quickly, altering their mood overnight. Medications, supplements and herbs that act upon neurotransmitters usually need to be taken for several weeks before patients start to feel the effects.

Some people take more and more 5 HTP, hoping that taking more will increase the effectiveness more quickly. This can create a dangerous condition called, serotonin syndrome. Many alternate health practitioners recommend starting slowly with 5 HTP and taking it for only short periods of time to avoid dangerous overdoses.



5-HTP Side Effects

Reported side effects from taking 5-HTP include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Dangerous doses of 5-HTP can cause agitation, fast heart rate, a boost in blood pressure—and in rare cases, coma and even death.

Combining it with an antidepressant, any other drug that affects serotonin levels or herbal supplements like St. John's Wort can also cause such side effects. People who have heart disease, peptic ulcers, kidney disease, or clotting disorders should definitely not take this supplement.




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http://wellnessletter.com/html/ds/ds5HTP.php


5-HTP


Claims, Benefits: Treats or prevents insomnia, depression, and other problems; modifies mood.

Bottom Line: In 1989, thousands of people taking tryptophan developed a rare and incurable blood disease, leading the FDA to ban all sales of the pills. 5-HTP, a close relative of tryptophan, is being taken as a substitute for it. Its potential dangers outweigh any possible benefits.

Full Article, Wellness Letter, January 2005:

Playing with Brain Chemicals

For years people took tryptophan pills to treat insomnia and depression and to improve mood. This amino acid is converted in the brain into serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that affects mood and sleep, among other things.

But in 1989 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all sales of tryptophan because of an outbreak of eosinophilic myalgia syndrome (EMS, a rare disorder that affects the skin, blood, muscles, and organs) among thousands of people taking the pills. At least 30 people died. The epidemic was traced to a bad batch of tryptophan from one Japanese manufacturer, which apparently introduced an impurity when it altered its manufacturing process.

A cousin steps in

Since then 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), a close relative, has replaced tryptophan in health-food stores and drugstores and on the Internet. The body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan; and like tryptophan, 5-HTP is converted to serotonin in the brain. The supplement is derived from the seeds of an African tree. For decades European doctors have used it to treat depression and several other disorders. Some small studies suggest that 5-HTP may be as effective as standard antidepressants, but most of these studies were not well designed. And other studies have not found a benefit. There’s some preliminary evidence that the supplement may play a role in weight loss and may help against mild insomnia. One problem: when some people take the supplement, their blood levels of 5-HTP do not rise, so there’s little chance of a benefit.

Just how safe is it?

Reported side effects include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. High doses of 5-HTP can cause agitation, fast heart rate, a boost in blood pressure—and in rare cases, coma and even death. Combining it with an antidepressant, any other drug that affects serotonin levels (such naratriptan or sumatriptan, used to treat headaches), or “herbal antidepressants” such as St. John’s wort can also cause such side effects. People who have heart disease, peptic ulcers, kidney disease, or clotting disorders should definitely not take this supplement.

Even though the manufacture of 5-HTP is very different from that of tryptophan, worries about contamination remain. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have found an impurity known as “peak X” in commercial samples of 5-HTP; the FDA has also spotted impurities. Substances similar to “peak X” were found in the tryptophan involved in the 1989 outbreak of EMS. So far, however, there have been no confirmed cases of the illness from 5-HTP supplements.



Final thoughts: Some dietary supplements, notably 5-HTP, can influence brain chemicals. As the tryptophan story showed, even though they are marketed as “natural,” they can have serious adverse effects—just like traditional antidepressants. The potential dangers of 5-HTP outweigh any possible benefits.

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, January 2005



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http://www.ehow.com/about_5600605_5_htp-dangers-stomach.html

5-HTP & Dangers to the Stomach


Tully Grey

Tully Grey is a freelance writer living in Chicago who has been writing for 10 years. She attended Columbia College in South Carolina and is currently pursuing a B.A. in history. Her fiction has appeared in The Broadkill Review and will appear in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. She has written nonfiction for The Post and Courier and iNeTours.com.
By Tully Grey, eHow Contributor


5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is used by your body to produce brain chemicals like serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate your mood, appetite and energy level. 5-HTP helps maintain your serotonin levels, which can alleviate depression, kick-start weight loss and increase your energy.


While 5-HTP can be beneficial, it does have side effects that can include mild gastrointestinal problems.

Nausea

Your digestive system can be sensitive to serotonin, and 5-HTP can lead to some mild nausea. The higher the dose, the more likely this is to happen. Higher doses are generally given to patients who are using 5-HTP to help with weight loss or fight obesity. Standard doses of 50mg to 100mg don't tend to bring on nausea.

Diarrhea

If your serotonin level becomes too high, you can develop serotonin syndrome. If this happens, you could experience side effects, one of which is diarrhea. The risks of serotonin syndrome increase when you take 5-HTP in combination with MAOIs, or monamine oxidase Inhibitors, as MAOIs prevent serotonin from being chemically broken down. Consult your doctor before beginning or ending any drug program.

Empty Stomach

If your reason for starting 5-HTP is appetite regulation, you should take it about 20-30 minutes before eating so that it will enter your brain and begin converting to serotonin faster. If you have other reasons for taking 5-HTP, you should be able to take it three times a day in small doses without nausea. You won't have to take it before meals if the purpose for taking it is not to promote weight loss or combat obesity.

After Meals

If you tend to eat more during the night hours than in the morning or during the day, it may be beneficial to take a 100mg dose of 5-HTP immediately after your last meal. If nausea follows, it should be temporary and subside after a few days. Sipping a ginger ale can be beneficial if nausea occurs after a meal. Avoid caffeinated drinks, as these can keep you awake as well as counteract the effects of 5-HTP.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Other side effects of 5-HTP that occur in the stomach are loss of appetite, diarrhea, cramps, vomiting and gas. Most of these symptoms occur when you take more than 100


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http://vitamins.lovetoknow.com/5_HTP_Danger

5 HTP Danger

By Jeanne Grunert

If you're concerned about 5 HTP danger, careful consideration of the risks and benefits may allay your fears.

What Is 5 HTP?

The product known as 5 HTP contains a naturally occurring brain chemical, 5-hydroxytryptophan. Synthesized from proteins containing tryptophan, 5 HTP whirls through the brain with a bevy of chemical compounds called neurotransmitters that affect mood, sleep, and appetite........... 5-HTP works with the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Individuals take 5-HTP to combat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Recently many companies have begun touting 5 HTP as a weight loss product. Both prescription and non-prescription supplements affecting serotonin appear to decrease appetite. Scientists aren't sure of the exact mechanism at work, but preliminary theories suggest that when serotonin levels are low, the body boosts the appetite in a quest to ingest as many foods as possible that provide the building blocks of serotonin.

A 5 HTP Danger

While this supplement appears to be safe for most people, 5 HTP danger occurs when people mix 5 HTP with prescription medications and herbal supplements. Taking too much 5 HTP is also dangerous.

Antidepressants and 5 HTP

People suffering from depression frequently take medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Medications in this category include brand names such as Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil and others. The exact way that these medications improve mood isn't known, but doctors speculate that SSRI drugs block the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, leaving more circulating serotonin for use by the brain itself. This process improves neurotransmission among nerves that affect mood.

SSRI medications exert a powerful influence on brain chemistry. It's no surprise then, to learn that taking 5 HTP and a prescription SRRI poses great danger. Remember that 5 HTP itself interacts in complex ways with the entire serotonin reuptake system in the brain. Because the SSRI medications are already altering the delicate symphony of chemicals, adding 5 HTP to the mix creates cacophony.

Mixing SSRI medications and 5 HTP may result in a rare but extremely serious condition called serotonin syndrome. People with serotonin syndrome exhibit a variety of symptoms including confusion, restlessness, hallucinations, fever, nausea and vomiting. Coma and death follow swiftly after symptoms appear. Anyone taking antidepressant medications, 5 HTP or a combination of substances who begins exhibiting these symptoms should go to the nearest hospital immediately.

Herbal Supplements and 5 HTP

Just as mixing prescription medications with 5 HTP is dangerous, mixing 5 HTP with herbal supplements for depression such as St. John's Wort is also not recommended. Like SSRI medications, St. John's Wort alters the delicate balance of brain chemistry. 5 HTP can tip the balance into dangerous territory. If you have any questions about these medications, supplements or herbs, please consult your doctor or another qualified health professional, and always tell your doctor about vitamin and herbal supplements you are taking to avoid dangerous interactions.

5 HTP Overdose

Individuals who take 5 HTP may expect it to act like a magic pill, altering their mood overnight. Medications, supplements and herbs that act upon neurotransmitters often need to be taken for several weeks before patients feel the effects. In their rush to feel better, some people take more and more 5 HTP, hoping that "more is better" and the substance will improve their mood faster. This can create the dangerous condition mentioned above, serotonin syndrome. Many alternate health practitioners recommend starting slowly with 5 HTP and taking it for only short periods of time to avoid dangerous overdoses.

Other Side Effects

People taking 5 HTP also report other side effects, including nausea and stomach upset, irritability, and insomnia. If symptoms worsen or you feel ill taking 5 HTP, discontinue and see a physician immediately.

Peak X Dangers

No discussion of 5 HTP danger is complete without mentioning "peak X", a term coined in 1994 when a woman came down with a serious and rare condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). In this condition, the body overproduces eosinophils. Eosinophils are white blood cells responsible for combating infections. In EMS, high levels of eosinophils cause trembling, extreme muscle pain, and shortness of breath.

In 1994, a Canadian woman came down with symptoms of EMS after handling 5 HTP pills intended for her children who required the supplement for medical reasons. Although the children didn't become ill, they also had higher than normal levels of eosinphils. The suspected compound within 5 HTP that created these side effects was named "peak X".

Today, most alternate health practitioners feel that the supply of 5 HTP is free from peak X. Dr. Michael T. Murray, a doctor of naturopathy, provides a complete case history on 5 HTP and peak X online, and concludes that it would take massive doses of 5 HTP to cause EMS symptoms. Anyone taking 5 HTP, however, should be aware of the possibility and check with a physician if they experience unusual symptoms.

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serotonin

I am taking 5 htp :) it helps and give me a calm sleep which is what i really need!

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Altostrata

What was the dosage again, serotonin?

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Altostrata

From http://www.rxlist.com/5-htp-page3/supplements.htm#Interactions

 

Are there any interactions with medications?

 

Medications for depression (Antidepressant drugs)

Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

 

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 and 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.

 

Medications for depression (MAOIs)

Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

 

5-HTP increases a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. Some medications used for depression also increase serotonin. Taking 5-HTP with these medications used for depression might cause there to be too much serotonin. This could cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

 

Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.

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serotonin

I am currently taking 200mg it give me a calm sleep! But i havent notice it increase my sleep.

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serotonin

And i feel less fatigued after taking it!

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CymbaltaDrone

Has anyone tried tapering with 5HTP instead of Prozac?

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Altostrata

cymbaltaD -- It's not a good idea to take 5-HTP with a serotonergic drug as it could cause excessive elevation of serotonin. So cross-tapering with 5-HTP would be risky.

 

There are no reports that I know of about this succeeding.

 

If you mean can you treat withdrawal symptoms with 5-HTP, I guess you could say we are still gathering info on that. Occasionally people say it helps, others say it hurts.

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Nadia

Hi all,

 

Have any of you taken 5HTP? I have a friend who is dead-set on taking an antidepressant, and I'm trying to convince him not to... I'm considering at least steering him toward 5HTP instead, but I wonder if it has the same awful potential for side effects. Is it, in the end, just as bad as any antidepressant? (This for someone who has never gone through withdrawal or had an adverse reaction to medicines).

 

Thanks...

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alexjuice

If it was me, i would advise him to exercise outdoors every single day for 60 days and see where that gets him.

 

Of course i wouldn't take any serotonin precursor sups but I've got a comprised central nervous system.

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Altostrata

Agree with alex. I would try fish oil and vitamin B12 sublinguals before anything that messes with serotonin. Also, get a pet or a hobby.

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Nadia

Yeah, I've suggested just about everything... He already has a pet, he walks several miles every day. He's just dead-set on taking an AD and told me today he's started sertraline. Oh well... I was thinking maybe I could steer him toward a "lesser evil", and was wondering if 5HTP really was a lesser evil or not. I wouldn't touch the stuff either at this point, of course.

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Altostrata

If he's dead set on it, you might suggest he minimize his dosage to the lowest effective dose. That can be a fraction of the pill he was prescribed.

 

On the other hand, maybe 5-HTP would work as a placebo and do him good.

 

It's very sad that people think of these drugs as a way to enhance their lives instead of either accepting who they are or working to improve themselves.

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alexjuice

Ya know, in the end you can only do what you can do.

 

I wrote about a friend of mine who cold turkey'd zoloft against my warnings. Things haven't gone well for him since. He is an alcoholic and has resumed drinking. His sexual issues, the reason for his d/c, got a lot worse. The girl, for whom he wanted to be sexually capable for fear of losing her, has left him.

 

In this case, I think you are a really good friend to share your experience. Perhaps you could even mention this site to expose him to some of the harsher downside. Otherwise, you can't do much more than try to be hopeful and supportive. He may turn out okay, there's no way to know in advance.

 

Sucks though and makes us feel even more isolated. Because we know that taking these drugs is, to varying degrees, playing Russian roulette -- but nobody else knows it yet. You don't have to debate the risk of Russian roulette with anyone. It's maddening to me that others don't recognize this psych-med disaster, partially because it adds to my feelings of alienation.

 

Alex

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Nadia

It's very sad that people think of these drugs as a way to enhance their lives instead of either accepting who they are or working to improve themselves.

 

I don't think he thinks it's a way of enhancing his life... It's strange, because he's been very supportive during the hell I've been going through, and suggested many alternative treatments... everything from meditation to pressure points and therapy. So I know he knows that is what is best, but it is suffering and despair that has gotten him to this point. He stressed he was just going to use it "as a temporary, last-ditch effort" to get himself to a better place, to motivate himself to do what needed to be done.

 

I don't know... it scares me, but at the same time I understand his despair. I've been going through a really hard time right now as well, and struggle so hard to keep even an intellectual belief in my ability to deal with life and not just cave in. I don't think, even withdrawal aside, that I'm wired as most people are. I really have a tendency toward depression, and now mixed with withdrawal anxiety, it leaves the world and my own self image looking so bleak. I know that happens for him, too, and I can't blame him for wanting relief. It's like having a headache and thinking you can just take some aspirin. No matter what they tell you about side effects, if you've never gone through them yourself, it can make it so much easier to just pretend it will all be all right (and for some people, maybe it will...).

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Nadia

Ya know, in the end you can only do what you can do.

 

I wrote about a friend of mine who cold turkey'd zoloft against my warnings. Things haven't gone well for him since. He is an alcoholic and has resumed drinking. His sexual issues, the reason for his d/c, got a lot worse. The girl, for whom he wanted to be sexually capable for fear of losing her, has left him.

 

In this case, I think you are a really good friend to share your experience. Perhaps you could even mention this site to expose him to some of the harsher downside. Otherwise, you can't do much more than try to be hopeful and supportive. He may turn out okay, there's no way to know in advance.

 

Sucks though and makes us feel even more isolated. Because we know that taking these drugs is, to varying degrees, playing Russian roulette -- but nobody else knows it yet. You don't have to debate the risk of Russian roulette with anyone. It's maddening to me that others don't recognize this psych-med disaster, partially because it adds to my feelings of alienation.

 

Alex

 

Russian roulette, exactly.

 

And you're so right Alex, all I can do is offer my best advice. Also with another friend who started taking ADs (right before I started going through all this)... I have to be careful what I say, because right now she is at the peak of feeling emotionally normal for the first time in her life... I just want to make sure I gently introduce not staying on the stuff too long and doing a really long, slow taper. I hope with time more dissenting voices will appear within the medical community, because even amongst friends and family, we are so easily dismissed as "just imagining" this is the result of ADs. It doesn't help that many of us have been labelled as having mental and emotional issues to begin with. Automatically, that is grounds for not being taken seriously by even people with good intentions. It hurts.

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Nadia

Nadia, I know what you mean about depression, I struggled with real depression myself before trying antidepressants.

 

Depression has that quality of hopelessness, and you don't see any way to get out of it.

 

If I only knew then what I know now -- it can be so much worse -- I would have taken meditation seriously, and learned it's a cloud that passes, what I need to do is occupy my mind and body for days or weeks until it goes away.

 

This is a very hard lesson to learn, and we expect so much of ourselves....

 

PS Oh, poop on those who are ignorant and don't understand.

 

Yes... I know throughout life I'd gotten better at dealing with it, at least from when I was a child... I think all those years of ADs got me out of practice, even as I learned a healthier way to live in some ways. I've told myself so many times before, "when you feel like this, don't ponder your life! Just detach and let pass!" I think one issue is my age... I'm going through a sort of mid-life crisis anyway (even before withdrawal), and may be having hormonal changes as well. There are a lot of "big issues" floating around that act like fuel for the depression. You are right... the only way out is meditation, exercise, acceptance. I just went for a run and am feeling a little better. When I was running, I was thinking... suppose I knew beforehand that I was going to feel like this exactly two months out of every year. I think I could take it, because I would know the parameters, know there was an end. I might dread those two months every year, but it would be like dreading Monday or work. The problem is when you stop seeing the light at the end of the tunnel... the quality of hopelessness you mention.

 

For that reason I think it is better to think of it as a physical pain, to try not to think through it or out of it (though in a sense that is its very nature).

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alexjuice

That's a tough position • I have quite a few friends on ADs who feel they work but I haven't had occasion to warn someone about starting

I never experienced improvement with serotonergic meds so have a tough time understanding their use ever • also knowing the clinical trial data is bogus and there is no real benefit over placebo makes their use less understandable

I think that if someone was determined to try something I would steer them toward Wellbutrin • serotonin perhaps for anxiety or anxious depression

 

My therapist, my probono LPC-I, takes Effexor and says it is the greatest thing to have happened to her. She is also terrified of withdrawal should she ever need to stop, though the withdrawal she fears is a shadow of the worst-case Effexor scenario. In any event, I don't debate her on her belief. And if she ever has to come off... I am directing her to this site.

 

Yes, barb, I think I would agree, especially as a male. If somebody really insisted on taking an antidepressant, I'd probably say Wellbutrin. Hey, who wouldn't want to quit smoking AND maintain their sex life?

 

Of course, itd be hard to rec any psych drug ever, obviously. I find myself more often telling people, "it's your call but, for me, promise to stay away from Effexor (all SNRIs), Paxil, adjunct antipsychotic treatment, and long term benzos... Good luck." and, yea, I have actually had conversations like that...

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Altostrata

Wellbutrin raised my blood pressure 30-40 points. No psychiatrist ever bothered to monitor it.

 

The good news is, my blood pressure went down after I stopped taking it.

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Nadia

I also tend to think of Wellbutrin as the less harmful of the combinations I've been on. I always thought of Zoloft as my main AD... but really, I was on Wellbutrin almost non-stop for 16 years straight. I do wonder how much of what is going on with me now is due to discontinuing that over the Zoloft.

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Altostrata

Of drugs with antidepressant effects~ I prefer dopamine agonists or reuptake inhibitors and oxycodone (both used for antidepressant properties with knowledge of prescribing MD) -- less problematic than SS/NRIs

 

Except that they are addictive!!!

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Barbarannamated

I'm assuming that was said tongue-in-cheeck ~i know many of us have said that opiates are a breeze to DC compared to SS/NRIs even aftet long term use ~i recently CTd Vyvanse (dopamine agonist orreuptake inhibitor) with nothing but fatigue •

Opioids and dopaminergics/amphetamines were mainstay of depression treatment prior to MAOIs and TCAs ~they work fast and they work well as do MAOIs (considered gold standard of depression treatment in terms of efficacy) •

If used appropriately ~short term to get people thru rough times ~they are far safer than SS/NRIs

MAOIs are the exception in terms of withdrawal which DamnNardil could speak to with far more knowledge

Old psychiatry texts are very interesting in describing the progression of treatments ('progress' may be wrong word ~evolution of treatments as determined by pharma)

 

Dopaminergics are often used in geriatric depression as it is generally characterized by apathy and responds to activating agents as opposed to serotonergic ones that are best suited to anxious states when a calmative is needed ~of course there are diffetences between serotonergics depending on their specificity for different 5Ht receptors (Prozac generally most activating)

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Altostrata

Barb, opioids and dopaminergic drugs are unquestionably addictive. There's a prescription opioid addiction epidemic underway in the US right now.

 

Using them "carefully" may reduce the risk, but they are still addictive. Supposedly doctors can use benzos "carefully" but they get patients addicted to them all the time. There's no way to tell whose nervous system is going to latch onto the drugs and which people who are physically dependent also get psychologically dependent.

 

As to their historical use for depression, sure, people were given them, is it possible they also got addicted but the literature is quiet about this?

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Barbarannamated

The FDA has altered the definitions of addictive /dependence and tolerance to make whatever drug is most prifitable at any one time more 'palatable' with the use of rhetoric and terminology ~we have discussed that here ~the discontinuation panel changed the definition of withdrawal in order so that it would NOT apply to SSRIs and by using their terminology we are playing right into their plan ~

I've been on benzos and opiates for years but never have displayed addictive behaviors such as drug seeking ~also DCing opiates is far less complex than DCing SSRIs (and I will include benzos with SSRIs)

If you must refer to the term 'addictive' in classifying dopaminergics and opioids then I

will choose that addiction far before the dependence/tolerance/toxicity/brainand body damage caused by serotonergics

 

Also there is a prescription SSRI epidemic in our country ~an epidemic that is going to cause far more morbidity than opiates and antipsychotics

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Barbarannamated

Just to clarify ~i am NOT advocating the use of any brain altering drugs but we must not be fooled by the label it is given: legal/ illicit/serotonergic/antidepressant/antipsychotic /smoking cessation/ nootropic etc

 

They all do unknown damage to our brains and must be used judiciously ~ why use as SSRI that MAY work after a few weeks when scopalomine~for example~ could snap someone out of a suicidal state within an hour ~

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Barbarannamated

On flip side …i listen everyday to MD husband approving Cymbalta as main drug for injury /chronic pain patients ~ he does UR for Work Comp insurance and is on mission to decrease use of opiates bc of addictive reputation and patients not showing Functional Improvement ~i asked how they are showing FI on Cymbalta andTramadol (another SNRI but called a pain med)~no answer

opiates are seen as big bad drugs although many people never need dose increase and continue to function for rest of life on opiates (alot don't function and are on Work Comp disability)

My point is that Cymbalta is taking over as 1st line treatment for chronic pain and that is very very scary

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alexjuice

Is it still the case that tryptophan is unavailable in supplement form?

 

Alex

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Altostrata

No, it's pretty widely available. Purchase from a reputable brand or store.

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bubbles

Hi everyone

 

Does any have any experience with 5HTP? Although it sounds terribly negative, I'm expecting crippling depression to come back around the end of my taper, as this is what happened previously. I couldn't cope and went back on the Lex. I had been tapering for a long while by that stage, maybe 8-10 months, so it wasn't a fast taper. I'm wondering about using it as a "buffer" *but only once I'm down really far in the dose, like below 5mg* which is the point at which it was really bad last time. I expect I'd then have to taper off that... Any thoughts?

 

I am desperate to get off this stuff. My bruxisum is worse on the Lex and I have daily headaches, for which mild pain relievers do nothing. I don't like to use stuff with codeine if I have to drive or be alert, so basically I have a headache all the time.

 

Bubbles

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BentBuddha

my experience with 5htp during withdrawal was extremely negative. Which was confusing at the time because when i took the same brand of 5htp before i'd ever tried anti depressants, it was great.

 

It gave me high aggitation, aggression, and extreme anxiety. That was a very unpleasant time which I'll never forget.

 

If you are going to experiment with it, start off with 50mg. You'll know within hours if you're going to react to it negatively. 50mg won't send you off into a nasty experience like I had. At worst it will give you some anxiety, which will let you know your brain isn't ready for it.

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Nadia

It seems a lot of people going through withdrawal have become sensitized to serotonin and find it too activating, which could be why you experienced that. Strange that this would happen to you after only 30 days of being on ADs and being off them for months, but it seems some people are just more sensitive than others.

 

My cousin was on ADs for a few years, quit cold turkey, and is absolutely fine. I wish we all had been so lucky!

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moses

I also tried 5 HTP a few years ago and I will NEVER take it again. I was soooooooooo agitated and anxious. It was a nightmare.

Rosie

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compsports

I am not at that point yet but if you had to chose one of the above supplements for sleep, which one would you chose?

 

Unfortunately, I am still unable to sleep through the night on the cpap machine. Many nights, I am barely registering two hours before ditching the mask intentionally or unintentionally.

 

Continue to troubleshoot mask issues in trying to find the right mask setup as I don't feel I yet have it as good as I can get. If I get the mask issue right and I am still having the same problems, next step would be to try a different machine if I can find a cheap 2nd hand one.

 

However, at some point, if I run out of ideas, then I am going to have to use something to get to sleep. Not using the machine is not an option as I feel I have severe apnea. So please, no comments on the side effects of using something because I feel not using the machine is worse than using it and taking something to facilitate sleep.

 

Since there are some studies (not the strongest but definitely something you can;'t totally blow off) that serotonin plays a role in sleep apnea, I would prefer to use one of the above supplements. But other ideas are welcomed.

 

Needless to say, I am frustrated beyond belief. This has been a bleeping nightmare.

 

Thanks!

 

CS

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compsports

Hey comp,

 

I've dabbled in both. I've found 5-htp to have more of an effect on the gut. Otherwise, I didn't sustain a trial with either.

 

I came across an interesting article about amino acid supplementation (tryptophan mostly). While interesting, it's the kind of thing I don't know enough about specifically but know enough generally to guesstimate that it's about 50% incorrect. Still, it was a starting point for me.

 

Be careful, is my advice.

 

http://smart-drugs.net/ias-tryptophan-article.htm

 

Alex

 

EDIT: I think I've taken 5-htp at 50mg doses and tryptophan at 250mg.

 

Thanks Alex.

 

I found this exert interesting:

 

Tryptophan and sleep

 

"In recent years, melatonin has gained the reputation as the natural answer to insomnia. Yet the fact that melatonin is made in the pineal gland from serotonin is frequently overlooked.

 

Thus supplemental tryptophan may induce one’s pineal gland to naturally increase its melatonin production. Also, important sleep regulating nerve circuits in the brainstem (the raphe nuclei) use serotonin as their neurotransmitter, so it is unreasonable to expect melatonin alone to provide optimal insomnia relief.

 

Low dose melatonin (0.5mg to 1mg) plus tryptophan (500mg to 1500mg) may prove more effective for many people with serious insomnia."

 

Of course, I feel my insomnia may be cpap induced but I still think this is applicable.

 

I am sensing in reading this article that tryptophan would be a better choice vs. 5htp but I could be missing something.

 

As I said, I am not at the point where I have exhausted all possibilities in trying to sleep on the machine without taking something. But if I reach that point, I will have no choice but to take something since not getting good sleep over time is a health destroyer. As always, it is an issue of balancing the risks and benefits for any option that is made.

 

CS

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jr1985

Tryptophan and melatonin are prescription only in the UK. But you can buy them both online, just google them.

 

Apparently it's legal to import them as long as you are using them yourself and not trying to sell them on.

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inmediares

I tried it recently (specifically for trying to overcome obsessive thoughts) and had to abandon it.

 

I found it to be sedating in a sense -- although more in a zoned out, disconnected manner that became unpleasant.

 

Your experience may vary, of course. I haven't tried it, but there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for magnesium as a supplement to aid with insomnia. My son uses melatonin and believes it provides help.

 

Good luck.

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