Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lvjesus, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I have been reading an ebook by Dr. Rodger Murphree and I found some had posted about him here before. He makes A LOT of sense and talks about using herbs and suppliments instead of, or at least in conjuction with, prescription meds.

    The ebook was free (google Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and CFS) and he even tells you how to use the products he recommends, which adds more credibility to it for me (shows he's not just trying to sell something). One of the things I am going to try is 5HTP. It seems very promising to me and I even found I have some FibroSleep with it in there. I had the FibroSleep for some time and had tried it but didn't think it really did much so I just had it on hand.

    I have used it the past 2 nights and think it is helping but could just be placebo effect. Anyway, I thought others might want to check it out since you can download for free online and on e-readers.


    PS I ordered some 5HTP and it should come today. I'll let you know how I get on with it. [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2012]
  2. spacee

    spacee Member

    I am not surprised that it helped! I have tried it and cannot take it due to
    a permanent side effect of a med given to me 25 years ago. So, I am not
    normal but I do believe that 5HTP should help some ppl.

    Glad it was you!

  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I completely agree that it is best to use herbs and supplements when at all possible before resorting to prescription meds - they have much fewer side effects, which is major.

    5-htp is great stuff. I've been taking it for about 8 years. It helps with sleep - I take 100 mg. before bed and no bad side effects. 5-htp and l-tryptophan are amino acids which help the brain produce serotonin, which can help with sleep and mood, and they do not have the sometimes very nasty side effects of prescription AD's.

    The only warning I have is if someone is already taking a prescription AD, they have to be careful if adding in 5-htp or l-trypophan, as they may develop serotonin syndrome - too much serotonin - which can be dangerous. I had a friend who got off of Lexapro and starting taking 5-htp instead, and liked it much better - she had more energy and no weird side effects.

    I hope the 5-htp helps you! And thanks for the book reference - I will check it out. Actually, I just looked and you can buy it as an e-book, but costs $14.95, I don't see a free book.

  4. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    I just bought a used book from amazon for 44 cents plus shipping. I'm all for doing it naturally. I take the 5 HTP for sleeping. I've also passed the info on to a friend who is fighting OCD and doesn't want drugs. 5 HTP and GABA seems to really be helping him. Most doctors have only been trained to write out a prescription......then we're the ones who have the side effects and trouble getting off it.
  5. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    Well, I got to the free ebook from facebook, so not sure about that. I will look around and see if I can find it later. As for the 5HTP, I ordered some and have been taking it since it came on Friday. I actually started the fibrosleep with 5 HTP a couple of days before though. Last night I took 250mg and slept much better. The other nights I seemed to wake up a lot, but my fatigue has been totally gone since I started!!! Amazing!

    You forget what normal feels like until you have some fatigue free days. It is so hard to explain to people what it feels like, but it is just this HEAVINESS all over, yuck! I have had some late nights and still felt good. Monday night I sang at a revival and didn't get to sleep until 11 and got up at 5 and thought I'd be crashed, but I WASN'T!

    It may not last, but I am loving it right now! I will let you know about the free ebook if I can find it and work it in here. Can I post a link? He does sell supps from his office, but he also tells you how to use them so you can buy anywhere you want. If anyone knows, post please.

  6. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    That is amazing about the 5htp lifting your fatigue! I am so glad for you - I hope it continues - keep us posted -

  7. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    what time do you all take the 5 htp? i just recently started it, and someone told me i was taking it too late. i take it at 10.30pm. then i take mellatonin at 11.00pm with the lunesta. not sure if i like it yet. feeling a little funny the next day.

    going to give it a little bit longer.

    thanks for any replies.

  8. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I found a link to the free ebook on Dr. Murphree's facebook page. Here it is:


    Now for the bad news for me. After taking the 5HTP for sometime I began to notice strange things. First of all, the good effects had pretty much ceased. I was getting exhausted early in the day again and I noticed my emotions were right on the edge. Often I would feel like I was going to burst into tears at any little thing. Also I was SO hot all the time. I had thought it was hot flashes cause I am 48 but then one day I read what a hot flash is like and realized that is not what I was having.

    I was hot all over like I had a fever and it did not come and go, I was hot all the time. I even took my temp and found it was up 1.2 degrees from my "normal" 97.6. I am not sure if I was experiencing seratonin syndrome or not, but they are 2 of the symptoms, but there are others I did not have so I am not sure. But it did shake me up since that can be fatal. Nothing in the book warns about ill effects very much, so I was a bit concerned about that.

    Anyway, here is the link to the free ebook. God Bless.

    Forgot one side effect (not such a good idea to write and try to remember when your brain is in neutral!

    Every morning my blood sugar was WAY down and I felt AWFUL. I already feel awful WITHOUT it, so feeling awful with it was twice as bad. I would drink OJ to bring my sugar up and eat some eggs or other protein to stabalize it but it didn't always work.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/05/2012]
  9. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Lots of good stuff in it. We're all different and everyone can react differently to the same med. How long have you been taking it, how much, and at what time? I've only taken it at night to help with sleep.

    My son in law and daughter were both told to take 5 HTP and some GABA along with their gabapentin......for racing brain. My daughter takes 5 HTP and GABA in the mornings. I tried the GABA and 5 HTP around 7 a.m. and OMG.....I felt awful for hours, even though I take it at night also.

    Stop the 5 HTP and see how you feel after a week or two. If you still have these hot flashes when off it, then you might have something else going on.

    My son has been taking 5 HTP and GABA and was recently prescribed an antidepressant for depression. He asked about taking it with the antidepressants and the psychiatrist said NO on the 5 HTP because it would raise the level of seratonin.
  10. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    You are right about the book. It is packed with good info. I also got a good multi-vitamin because of what he says. It all makes perfect sense to me things he says.

    I did stop the 5-HTP and all of my issues went away (see my post above yours for an added side effect I forgot). It did help with sleep and dreaming but I can't give up the savella because it has helped me too much to consider that right now.

    I took it at bedtime. I was taking 100mg @ night. I would love to be able to figure out how to incorporated it again and avoid side effects, but frankly, it really scared me when I realized it was the 5HTP. Seratonin syndrome can be very serious and even fatal and I thought maybe I did not read closely enough what he said to do, but when I went back and read it again I did not see ANYTHING to suggest what happened to me was possible. Only thing he says is that two people had issues but both started at the max dose of 300mg and one was ok after backing down the dose and the other had a history of reactions to meds (which I don't).
  11. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    I also have to be really careful about the low blood sugar feelings. I eat some almond butter before bed, and if I'm up during the night (I usually am) I eat some more to carry me thru to morning. Then......first 30 min. of waking I eat l cup of cottage cheese. I found this has a high protein count. I also have to be careful to wait about an hr. after the cottage cheese to drink coffee. I also try to eat some protein about every 2 hrs. so I don't get a drop.
  12. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    i also had to give up the 5 htp. at first i liked it , as it did help me to sleep, (but really, not any better than the mellatonin) but then after a while i started acting stupid on it, like my brain was all drugged up, hard to explain. sort of like someone hyptnotized me.

    it scared me, so i got right off it. also was feeling kinda sick the next day while on it.

    love, joanierav
  13. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I tried again, taking only 50mg at bedtime and was cutting my savella and elavil in half but I again had too many side effects. All of the things I had before came back after a couple of days. My emotions were wacked out. I felt very angry for no reason, very cranky.

    The hot flushes came back to so I am giving up on it for now. Should I decide to try again I will go to my doctor to advise me on how to proceed safely.
  14. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    5-htp helps the brain produce serotonin. If you are taking an anti-depressant drug, you shouldn't take 5-htp at the same time as you can develop serotonin syndrome, too much serotonin.

    However, many people do better on 5-htp alone than with anti-depressants, which can have a host of undesirable side effects.

    I had a friend who was taking lexapro, it was giving her diarrhea - she got off of it, started taking 5-htp and liked it much better. She had more energy with just the 5-htp.

    So yes, you can have serotonin syndrome if you're taking an SSRI or SNRI and add in 5-htp. But many people do better to stop the anti-depressants altogether and just take 5-htp.

    lvjesus, I didn't know you were taking two anti-depressants (savella is an anti-depressant) at the same time as 5-htp. That would explain your symptoms. It doesn't mean 5-htp is bad - just should not be taken in combination with those drugs. You might consider talking to your doctor about getting off the drugs and just trying 5-htp alone.

    I can't tolerate prescription ADs, they have way too many side effects, but I've had no bad side effects with 5-htp. It does help with sleep.

  15. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    Yes, I was aware of the potential but in the book Dr. Murphree talks as if you can take them together and although he mentions seratonin syndrome, he makes it sound very rare. I am not worried about getting off amitriptiline. I have done it before and only thing I can say about that is that my doc said you could just go cold turkey but I say NOT! When I tried cold turkey I had anxiety off the chart. I was afraid to be in a room by myself in my own house!! Horrible!

    It's the savella I am afraid to get off. It has helped me so much with the fatigue since I have been on it. My fatigue was getting scary bad before I started it. I don't think I am ready to give it up yet. I also think I would have to plan it carefully since I expect it would cause a flare and I still work 5 days a week.
  16. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I don't blame you for wanting to stay on the savella, since it has helped you so much with fatigue. I'm sure I'd stay on it too. Energy is so precious!

    Since your doctor does have you on 2 ADs, maybe you could discuss with him getting off the elavil only and replacing it if necessary with the 5-htp. You'd run less risk of developing serotonin syndrome because you'd be replacing one thing which raises serotonin (elavil) with another (5-htp), instead of taking both at the same time.

    Please excuse me if I seem pushy about the 5-htp! I'm just always trying to find ways to get people off of drugs as much as possible. But I know so much of what we do is a balancing act, often not easy to achieve, and each person has to decide what is best for them.

    Take care -

  17. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    Oh, I don't mind about the 5HTP. It helped a lot in the beginning. It was only after I had been on it a few days that the bad stuff started. I want to take it but am not ready to give up the savella yet. If I could give up the elavil and take it I would for sure.
  18. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    You must not take 5-HTP at more than 100mg if you take an SNRI. I also suspect some people may be even more sensitive to this. In your case even 50mg might have caused a serotonin flush. Also your irritability/crankiness suggests you are also making too much metatonin, which will also happen.

    Melatonin is synthesised from serotonin

    The conversion is rate-limited by the enzyme serotonin-N-acetyl transferase.

    During the hours of darkness, the activity of the serotonin-N-acetyl transferase enzyme increases 9 to 150 times, allowing for the increased production of melatonin. In some people the rate is definitely 150 times. Now if you also take an SRNI such as Savella you could easily cause the symptoms you experienced. In fact you could have collapsed. So if you want to switch to 5-HTP you would need to be off the SNRI.

    serotonin - effects of SNRI - 10 to 20 times serotonin - 5HTP - more serotonin - possibly 30 times serotonin - night time - enzyme converts serotonin to melatonin at a high rate - could have 30mg melatonin in your brain.

    So you end up with an excess of both serotonin and melatonin when you wake up.

    While the above analysis is quite well known another possibility for someone with ME is the exact opposite effect caused by an impairment of the enzyme serotonin-N-acetyl transferase. It is well known that people with ME have low melatonin output which suggests impairment of serotonin-N-acetyl transferase. It is not unusual for some key enzymes to be faulty in ME e.g. the enzymes involved in methylation and synthesis of glutathione.

    If this enzyme is not working then the high levels of serotonin continue through the night rather than get converted into melatonin.

    The SNRI drug is increasing the amount of serotonin but this is supposed to decline at night when it is converted to melatonin. If you do not convert it into melatonin the excess serotonin will be increased in the morning and add to the next dose. After a couple days or so you may be in trouble. Now none of this explanation is known because there has been no research on it - except that we know that melatonin output is often low in people with ME.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/17/2012]