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DepressedGuy

5htp Vs Ssri

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I have stopped my SSRI because I couldent sleep on it at all, and I was falling over at work literally from exhaustion. Sideeffects suck right. So anyway, I heard 5htp is more effective than prozac (which is not what I was on, but still looks promising). Has anyone ever tried this stuff? What are your experiences?

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Guest SarahN

Hi DepressedGuy,

I have never been on 5htp, actually never heard of it. I am sorry your medication caused insomnia.

Have you talked to your doctor about quiting your meds? Is he the one who suggested you'd try the 5htp?

I hope other members will come here and share their experiences :bump:

Take care,

SN :hearts:

Edited by SarahN

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What is 5htp, some kind of supplement like St. Johns wort? I tend to stick to the tried and true antidepressants it just may take some work to find one with tolerable side effects.

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Guest SarahN
5-Hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP is a naturally-occurring amino acid, a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin and an intermediate in tryptophan metabolism. It is marketed in the United States and other countries as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid.

It has been alleged that 5-HTP can be used to treat mental disorders such as depression. Unfortunately, the studies to date are incomplete. Reviews of these studies do indicate that potential exists for 5-HTP in the treatment of depression, but further trials are stressed as necessary before arriving at any firm conclusion.

In recent years 5-HTP has been sold by health food companies as an alternative treatment for depression and mood disorders. Its role as an intermediary in the biosynthesis of serotonin indicates that this chemical may indeed be effective in treating these and other serotonin-related disorders, but there is some debate on the conclusions of the clinical trials which have been carried out using the drug.

Hope that helps,

SN :hearts:

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5htp is tried and true. Your body makes serotonin from 5htp. Its been proven in clincal trials more effective than prozac in a study with over 600 patients. Anyway, I hope someone will chime in here.

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5htp is tried and true. Your body makes serotonin from 5htp. Its been proven in clincal trials more effective than prozac in a study with over 600 patients. Anyway, I hope someone will chime in here.

I am sure that it does work for some people, I wasnt disputing that. I just prefer to stick to the remedies that I know have worked for me.

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Hey DepresserGuy;

I am considering this too if my EMSAM Patch trial fizzels. There is a thread started by another member who began an 5htp trial last week and is supposedy going to keep posting results. I can't remember her name at this second but you may be able to locate it from a few days ago. Don't know if many other thaan myself posted on her thread as this is such an unknown.

I Wish you luck with it and would like it very much if you would share results. I am 2 weeks in on Emsam and was told this week that results can take as long as 2 to 3 months to show w/ full results at 6 months. UGH! However some people iin our little trial of 5 new users felt energy on day three of wearing the patch and one person who has been on it successfully for 1 1/2 years posts that he really likes it. Another person say's "it work's too good" at about three weeks in b/c she has developed Imsomnia and can't seem to turn off the energy.

I am at two weeks in and may feel a tiny bit of energy but nothing motivating. I have long standing Insomnia issues anyway so can'r attribute that to the med.

Hope you get more info from those w/ experience w/ 5htp.

eve

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what SSRI's have you been taking...

the 1st one i took were paroxetine (paxil/seroxat) they caused bad insomnia..

however I've been on several others which made me very sleepy... and ultamatly resulted in me having to stop taking SSRI's all together..

but this level of sleepiness is uncommon..( apart from maybe the 1st few weeks)

The other thing is I have taken 5htp... It worked wonders for my mood and its really quite fast acting with no grogginess or anything like that...

the only problem is that.. after a few weeks it started causing the excessive sleepiness just like the SSRI's did...

all tho going by the reading that I have done.. excessive sleepiness isn't a common problem with taking 5htp

if you take 5htp I suggest you take it steady as the excessive sleepiness can be really incapacitating if you are effected by it... start at 50mg a night a slowly work up to 200 if you need it...

How well do the SSRI's your taking effect your depression apart from the insomnia??

if their working you may find melatonin to be effective..

its my understanding that melatonin is the neuralhormone your brain produces that induces sleep...

melatonin is also manufactured from serotonin, which is probably why depressives tend to suffer from insomnia

I'm currently taking another amino acid called L-tyrosine in combination with My NARI's and having good results...

I've heard that GABA and DL-Phenylalanine can be good for depression but i haven't tried either of these...

you may find a combination of some or all of these amino acids will work best for you..

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Sorry for bad english,

I'm actually on Effexor, 75mg/day and 5-HTP, 300mg/day. From my experience 5-HTP is very effective for depression; it allowed me to cut by half my Effexor dose and improved my sleep. Since it makes me sleepy, I take 300mg before sleep. For me 5-HTP is as effective as Effexor or other anti-depressant but it

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Just to clarify, tryptophan is not banned any longer in the US. It has been legal again for a few years. You can buy it online. If you email, I'd be happy to show you a link where I bought mine from. I have a canister of tryptophan powder sitting at home. Tryptophan is the precursor to 5-htp. It goes like this:

Tryptophan>5-HTP>Serotonin>Melatonin

As far as the melatonin dont overdo it. I've read a few times that most of the dosages available OTC are waaay too much. Studies have shown that a response is noted after as little as .3 mg. Alot of your dosages available are 3, 5 and as high as 10mg. They do make the .3 mg dosage, I'd try that first. I'd be leary of taking high doses. Melatonin is a powerful hormone and long term studies have not been done. I also read while back where long term use might cause depression in some folks.

Edited by maintainin

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I have been taking 5htp for about 5 days now. Its working alright, something I noticed was when I was on zoloft I didnt care what other people thought...at all. Also I had more confidence in my own views on things. If people critisized me, I would just shrug it off and tell myself "they have a different perspective than I do". When I am off zoloft, my brain kinda goes freakin nuts and even my rational thoughts dont stop it. For example, I will want to say something, and instead of saying it I will tell myself why I shouldent. Then I say, no its alright, I can say it, its alright if people dont agree with me. On zoloft, that type of rational thinking works, without it my brain just starts shooting doubts around faster than I can counter then with logic.

Its pretty freakin strange infact. I read online that GABA and Glutamate control your brain speed. Gaba is like a brake in your brain, and people with anxiety disorders are low on gaba. This is why they drink - to slow down their brain (alcohol increases gaba). When I drink, I feel really open. I dont worry about what people will say about me, etc... Its similar to being on zoloft, but zoloft also made me happy - and alcohol just makes me uninhibited.

Knowing this I read around online about buying GABA, but apparently there is no proof that ingesting GABA works. Thats why we have valium, xanax, alcohol, and others. So now I am wondering if my self doubt is really a result of brain speed. I used to smoke herb, and when I did my brain speed was slowed down greatly. I felt like I wasnt always worried about the time passing so quickly. I even took time to do my hair in the morning so it looked good, dress nice, etc... Zoloft did the same, I felt like I wanted to do nice things for me.

The reverse is instead, worrying about what other people will think of me for trying to look good, or do good, or for expressing myself. On zoloft, and with alcohol I tend to live more in my own world where what I think about myself is important, whereas with no meds or external stuff, I tend to base my opinion of myself on the opinions of others---and usually those opinions are not real, just negative thoughts I impose upon myself from the point of view of other people looking at me.

Anyone relate?

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I am also wondering, I've thoughts about rebuying 5-htp.I am now on quite a low dose of 5-HTP. Before that I was taking about 12.5 mg. The reason for this carefullness is due to taking Clomipramin and there might be a slight interaction between the Mirtazapine as well. I am also reducing Clonazepam which would lead to some more anxiety (benzo withdrawal). I relate to that as well, I care too much, I also get agitated as hell when not on SSRIs. These 50mg's I took recently seems to alleviate that tendency however I am basically self-isolated. IF I see other it's when I am drunk which I am not very often anymore as Mirtazapine reduced alcohol-cravings however it induced quite a severe anhedonia. Theoretically 5-HTP would work the same as SSRI, it makes people cope in a world where it's harder and harder to satisfy basic drives. It's very much a "feeling content" pill. Other get that "feeling" in a more natural way. There might be some prolactin involved as well as it gives the "recently ****ed" signal and leads to lowered dopamine (Hence SSRI iatrogenic anhedonia for some).

There is however differences between drugs. Sertraline (Zoloft) supposely has a weak dopamine reuptake inhibitator mechanism and sigma-bindings. Fluoxetine has a HT-2c mechanism which leads to more dopamine and norepinephrine in Prefrontal cortex (probably why some claim it more activating). It might also have some norepinephrinereuptakeInhibitation at HIGH doses.

Escitalopram is the quintessential SSRI and should be the drug compared to 5-HTP. Citalopram is Escitalopram with a H1-antagonism which basically just make people tired and then there's paroxetine and fluvoxamine which also have their "quirks".

L-Theanine might work by increasing dopaminelevels however I am unsure if its DopamineRI or just basically elevating, I am also unsure if there's any differences based on the mechanisms.

However, eventually, L-Theanine + 5-HTP could mimic Sertraline.

As an endnote. I don't like a society where more and more people has to take substitues for the loss of the more natural rewards. I would say that both psychopharmacology and the "naturalist" approach is hiding away real societal issues.

I can't even judge what's the least evil of drugs or "supplements". Sure, L-tryptofan (5HTP, though that's 5-hydroxy-L-tryptofan) is "natural", it's an aminoacid in food but it was "never meant" to be extracted and put into capsules. Sideeffects may be lower for "natural" approaches.

Both approaches are stalinistic in nature. I don't think I could keep on going without any of those but what is really the better? full throttle to technocracy or go the petit borgouise route and take 5-htp?

Edited by General_Failure

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I would say that the difference in mechanisms is pretty hugely important, especially because of the difference in mechanism between MAOIs and everything else. I would guess that some people just reuptake serotonin and/or dopamine and/or norepinephrine too fast and that's why simple supplementation with something like 5-HTP doesn't work for everyone and why some people require MAOIs. I would also suspect that some people just don't produce enough which is why 5-HTP works for some people or maybe some combination of the two which is why 5-HTP/tryptophan + SSRI is considered a good combination for treatment resistant depression.

All very interesting though and I wish we understood this all better.

Personally I don't find serotonin at all useful for depression, just for side effects and coming close to serotonin syndrome while just taking a high dose of Cymbalta. But then my depression is kind of characterised by tiredness, lack of motivation, anhedonia, and concentration issues anyway which SSRIs can make worse.

Edited by Velthir

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Depression is a complex issue which can be a result of a wide range of different factors. This is why there is no one-fits-all or easy solution. I would definitely say from personal experience that 5-HTP is worth a try. But I would recommend taking the patches rather than the tablets, as the tablets give you a bit of a roller-coaster of serotonin, whereas patches are much more effective at keeping it steady.

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Honestly, 5-HTP scares me a little just because it's usually an over-the-counter supplement and is often self-medicated. With my depression/anxiety being as severe as it is, and my brain chemistry quite frankly being completely out of whack, I would rather put my trust in a doctor who is trained to prescribe/change/manage medication than try popping a supplement I bought at a drugstore. I once knew a guy that used use them to have lucid dreams, and another that used to get high off of them. Granted any sort of substance can be abused, but I've also heard frightening stories of overdose. I'm not saying it isn't worth any merit, but if you want to try it I'd make sure to your psychiatrist guide you through the process. Just my opinion on the subject.

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