5HTP Experience:Need Advice

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Leenerbups, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Leenerbups

    Leenerbups New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I have been taking 1/2 of a 50 mg capsule of 5-HTP for depression and anxiety.

    I can't take a full pill because it's way too much for me.

    I really feel it helping me. I feel creative again, have some energy coming back and a lifting of my depression.

    Bad thing is I have become a little manic on it. I am getting racing thoughts and want to do 100 things at once, making lists of things I need to do, and becoming irritable.

    I have noticed little things are bothering me and i have less patience. My boyfriend told me I have become less affectionate and not into interacting with him. (true)

    WHAT TO DO??!

  2. Leenerbups

    Leenerbups New Member

    Hello lady! I see your still hanging in there! ;-p

    I really wish I could do something and stay on it. It's the first time I have taken something that worked and didn't make me so very ill! whaaa! :-(

    Anyone know of solutions or an alternative product??

  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Do you think that you might be bipolar? Do you have any history of manic-depression (or even just plain severe depression) in your family?

    There are lots of places on the Web where you can gauge whether this is the case.

    If you do tend to think you're bipolar, I can discuss this with you.

    The drug Lamictal is the one I use. I wrote a long post about it yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared from the board.

    I will re-write it if appropriate, but would like to hear your specific symptoms and reaction to Internet info first.
  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Hi, maybe you're concentrating too much on serotonin.

    There are many other neurotransmitters that are important besides serotonin.
    Some other neurotransmitter "nutrients" like 5htp you can try are:

    phosphatidyl choline
    phosphatidyl serine - amino acid
    TMG (trimethylglycine) - amino acid
    phenylalanine - amino acid
    tyrosine - amino acid
    DMAE (is molecularly similar to choline)
    B vitamins

    Here's some interesting stuff about "neuros":

    5-HTP---converts to--->Serotonin---converts to--->Melatonin

    Phenylalanine---converts to--->Tyrosine---converts to--->DOPA---converts to--->Dopamine
    ---converts to--->Norepinephrine---converts to--->Epinephrine (aka adrenaline)

    Note that norepinephrine is a key neurotransmitter AND an adrenal hormone.

    Here's some neuros, what they're for, sign of deficiencies, and the nutrients your body needs to make it:

    Serotonin: for Emotional Stability
    deficiency causes: Lack of rational emotion, feelings of irritability, sudden unexplained tears, sleep problems
    body needs: 5HTP or L-tryptophan, Calcium and Magnesium

    Dopamine: for Pleasure, reward, good feelings toward others, maternal/
    paternal love
    deficiency causes: Anhedonia - No pleasure, world looks colorless, inability to "love", no remorse about personal behavior
    body needs: L-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6

    Norepinephrine: for Arousal, energy, drive
    deficiency causes: Lack of ambition, lack of drive, depression
    body needs: L-phenylalanine
    Vitamin B6

    GABA: for Staying calm
    deficiency causes: Free floating anxiety, feelings that things are closing in around you, unexplained panic
    body needs: L-glutamine, Vitamin B6

    Enkephalins: for Psychological pain relief
    deficiency causes: Feelings of incompleteness, lack of fulfillment, feelings of inferiority, feelings of inadequacy, never feels "equal," fearful, insecure feelings
    body needs: D-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid (a B vitamin)

    Tryptophan is the least common amino acid in food. It is also the most difficult to absorb into the brain. These make serotonin synthesis more difficult. Although tryptophan is mainly found in fish, meat, dairy products, eggs, nuts and wheat germ, eating these does not substantially increase serotonin. This is because these foods contain other amino acids that compete with tryptophan for absorption. Tryptophan “loses out” to the other amino acids.

    Eating carbohydrates raises serotonin levels but eating protein decreases serotonin levels. Carbohydrates cause an insulin response that favors tryptophan absorption over other amino acids. This explains why many people who need more serotonin (like being overly-stressed or depressed) start to “self-medicate” by eating more sweets or starchy carbohydrates. As tryptophan absorption rises, so will serotonin production.

    EFAs (essentail fatty acids) are also critical for brain function.

    The levels and function of several neurotransmitters can be increased by the supply of their dietary precursors. The neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, histamine, acetylcholine and glycine, which are formed from tryptophan, tyrosine, histidine, choline and threonine (amino acids).

    This is why alot of us are loading up on free form amino acids. Our broken bodies cannot product them in sufficient quantities.

    Don't forget about the other neuros! They are all important, and not just for feelings. I just learned the other day the acetylcholine is important to bladder function!

    good luck!

    [This Message was Edited on 01/15/2007]
  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Or if serotonin is a problem (which it could be since you're getting effects from the 5HTP), you could try just B vitamins (in large doses....e.g. B100).

    B vitamins are a precursor to 5HTP. If you're short on B vitamins already, they could give you the benefits without the hyperness.
  6. greeneyeslk

    greeneyeslk New Member

  7. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    This is an entirely different approach, but helps me tremendously: Sam-e. When I take it, I feel normal. I need more in the winter than summer. If I drop the dosage too far, within a few days I am irritable, and antisocial.

    It also helps with joint pain, which is why I started it--it does work for that. Sam-e is supposed to also be good for the liver. It's naturally found in all cells. There's no known side effects.

    5htp doesn't do a thing for me. Maybe this could help you?
  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    If you are slightly manic-depressive though, SAM-e could really do a number on you. It's actually officially "not recommended" for people with m-d.

    I'd be more inclined to St. Johns Wort or DLPA, if you want to go the natural route.
  9. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I'm so glad you know that about sam-e. I sure didn't! Don't want to steer someone into the wrong treatment for them, so thank you!
  10. Leenerbups

    Leenerbups New Member

    WOW! Thanks to all of you for your incredibly helpful responses and recommendations.

    The kicker is, obviously I do need some serotonin. My anxiety went WAY down and my depression lifted. And I was sleeping better too!

    I'm definitely going to try the supplements mentioned (one at a time) until I find something that works. I'll start with the St. Johns Wort, DLPA, Starflower and Sam-E.(not all at once) I actually have some Same-E. If I find it starts taking me into 5-HTP land, I'll stop.

    I will also try:
    Calcium and Magnesium
    Vitamin B6

    I can't seem to take L-phenylalanine without getting terrible headaches.

    I am told I am, and family members are bi polar 2. We have a history of very deep depression.

    I was on Lamictal and it was working except I developed one of the rare and dangerous reactions to it. It seems if there is a rare side effect to a med...I get it. So that is why I am turning to natural sources. I've pretty much exhausted the allopathic meds for depression.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/16/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/16/2007]
  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The only thing I've ever heard that has any use with regard to mood stabilization is phosphadyl choline.

    I don't like it as much as Lamictal, because it tends to depress moods a bit as well as stabilize them. (I think of it as "Depakote lite".)

    Conceivably you could try this along with the 5HTP or SAM-e (or other anti-depressant supplement or herb). It might allow you to take more of the latter without going manic.

    Since you already know what the 5HTP does (and presumably still have some on hand), you might try taking that with some pc and see what happens.

    A number of years ago, people used to be recommending a large dose (like 8 softgel capsules per day). I found that even one or two capsules had an effect on me, though.

    (It comes in big softgel capsules, like fish oil does.)

    Since your m-d is not very serioius (it seems) and drugs are difficult for you, it might at least be worth a try.
  12. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Actually, there once was a study that said that fish oil is a good mood stabilizer (and also can improve moods a bit). The study used something like eight big softgels per day. I've heard since that fewer capsules can work too.

    StormySkye thinks that flax seed works for depression. I haven't experimented with it consistently enough to know if that's true.

    I didn't know that GNC would take supplements back. Thanks for the info.
  13. Leenerbups

    Leenerbups New Member

    Hi all, as you may know, the HTP was making me manic. I've been there before when trying anti-depressants, and when I stopped taking them, I went back to normal.

    Well, I have not gone back to normal!

    I've stopped spinning in circles and making lists, but I am still VERY irritable. It's bad.

    Is there anything natural can take to get this under control?
  14. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    All the stuff I listed before is natural. Some of them may sound scary with a big name like trimethylglycine but these are all organic compounds that either your body will extract from food or will manufacture on its own. They're just concentrated and easier to absorb when you take them out of a bottle.

    I guarantee you have been consuming them or making them in small quantities throughout your life. And you should see results within hours of taking them.

    I can't function without them!

    good luck!


    just start with small doses of all of them, maybe try 2 or 3 first and add more if you don't get enough of a change in how you feel[This Message was Edited on 01/23/2007]
  15. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Ah, you've driven yourself into a hypomania that's stuck on its own. Antidepressants (e.g. SSRI's) can do this easily. I never heard of 5HTP having this much of an effect on anyone, but a lot of people here are very sensitive to a variety of substances. Or perhaps this just caught you on an off day.

    The best thing I've found for a manic episode is to spend a whole day in a _completely_ dark room. You can have a little light on to read, or have the light from the TV, but otherwise no light. Especially sunlight.

    If you don't have blackout curtains/blinds, maybe get some big pieces of cardboard and tape it over your windows temporarily?

    Get a lot of sleep too. If you've got any medications that promote sleep and that don't disagree with you, now is a good time to use them.

    If not, the best option I can think of is melatonin. I doubt any of the OTC sleeping medications or herbs will be strong enough.

    (I've never tried this, but using a OTC cold medication that knocks you out would be better than nothing, perhaps.

    Now is not the best time to experiment with sleeping potions though. If you do want to try something new without a prescription though, melatonin would be my first inclination. It resets the body clock, which is a good thing since with m-d that gets messed up. Take it just before you go to sleep at night.....and go to sleep early, like maybe 10 p.m.

    The only non-prescription supplements that I've ever heard or found to have an effect at calming mood swings or hypomania are fish oil and phosphatyl choline.

    Fish oil does not have negative effects for the vast majority of people and is good for your body in general. (I'm sure that someone here has reacted strangely to it, but people on this board are not a good representation of the population. Anyway, I've not yet seen any comments like this here.)

    The study that was done using fish oil for moderate manic-depression used something like 12 of those large gel caps per day. (It was published in a good journal too.....this is not folk medicine.)

    You may not need that much of it, although that much shouldn't hurt you either.

    Fish oil is a good supplement for people to take in general. This is especially true of people with any sort of mood/anxiety disorder. A couple of capsules a day may make everything function a bit more smoothly, even if it doesn't completely solve your immediate problem instantaneously.

    Another possibility is phosphatilyl choline. It actually had a pretty strong effect on my moods, although it takes a few days to kick in. It stabilizes moods but also acts to depress them. In your case right now, that would be a good thing. If you do this, take up to eight of those large gel caps per day until your problem is fixed. Then you can decide if you want to continue on them. (Since your mood in general tends to be on the low side that might not be the case, but you can experiment.)

    Does it sound like I've been through these sorts of "emergencies" in the past????" More times than I can count, although fortunately that was a very very long time ago.

    CFS and M-D together is a pain in the rear. Let me know how you're doing and I'll see if I have any other thoughts.

  16. Leenerbups

    Leenerbups New Member

    Thanks so much.
    Until I can get the other stuff..I'm downing my fish oil!
  17. Leenerbups

    Leenerbups New Member

    Just to update all of you. I downed a lot of fish oil capsules but finally went and saw my GP yesterday. SHe put me on Cymbalta 30 mg.

    What kind of ride am I in for?
  18. lastormer

    lastormer New Member

  19. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Actually, the Permax and Dostinex contain 5-hydroxytryptamine 2b (5-HT2B) agonists, not just 5-HT2B. An agonist (from Wikipedia):

    "An agonist is a molecule that selectively binds to a specific receptor and triggers a response in the cell. It mimics the action of an endogenous biochemical molecule (such as hormone or neurotransmitter) that binds to the same receptor. It is a drug molecule (synthesized outside an organism) that reproduces the action of an endogenous natural biochemical (synthesized inside an organism). An agonist is the opposite of an antagonist in the sense that while an antagonist also binds to the receptor, the antagonist does not activate the receptor and actually blocks it from activation by agonists."

    So the drugs do not contain 5-HT2B, but something designed to mimic it. A perfect example of how drug companies try to patent something that they believe will do the same thing as something natural and unpatentable (and therefore unprofitable) but end up hurting people. And 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is just serotonin, a neurotransmitter we're all familiar with thanks to antidepressants that work as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. So 5 htp is not going to have anywhere near the same effect that these Parkinson's drugs will. It is natural and is already in your body.

    And according to Widipedia, another 5-HT2B agonist is LSD.

    Here's some more about those drugs from assorted pages:

    "These are mechanistic grounds for believing that not all dopamine agonists are equally likely to be implicated in the development of cardia-valve regurgitation. Perogolide (Permax) and cabergoline (Dostinex) are potent agonists of the 5-hydroxytryptamine 2B (5-HT2B) receptor expressed on heart valves, whereas other agents in this class, such as bromocriptine and lisuride (Dopergine, Shering) have antagonistic properties. Pramipexole (Mirapex, Boehringer Ingelheim) and ropinirolse (ReQuip, GlaxoSmithKline) have low affinity to the human 5-HT2B receptor. Preferential activation of this receptor has been shown to induce prolonged mitogenic effects in cardiac fibromyablasts, which could lead to inducing valvular fibroplasia"

    "Commonly used drugs to treat Parkinson diseases, dopamine agonists Permax (pergolide) and Dostinex (cabergoline) have been associated with an increased risk of cardioac-valve regurgitation. Before hauling out this conclusion Rene Schade, M.D., of Charite-Universitatsm edizin Berlin and colleagues used data from the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database of about 11,417 patients who were between the ages of 40 to 80 years and were treated with these anti-Parkinson drugs from 1988 to 2005. On the basis of their analysis researchers concluded that potent 5-hydroxytryptamine 2B (5-HT2B) agonists, Permax and Dostinex gave rise to diseases among which cardiac valve disease, which affect mitral, aortic and tricuspid valves was most prominent.
    This is really a startling revelation, which compels us to rethink that how far using such drugs can be safe for our health. Actually, there are many other diseases which have shown several kinds of side effects and many of which are fatal. Therefore, it is quite important that all the pros and cons should be ruminated over before bringing a particular drug into the market, otherwise drugs, which are supposed to save lives, may take lives."

    "However, the risk was not increased among patients treated with other ergot-derived dopamine agonists, bromocriptine or Dopergine (lisuride) or with dopamine agonists that are not derived from ergot, Requip (ropinirole) or Mirapex (pramipexole), the researchers found.
    The current use of amantadine was the only other significant risk factor and was found in five patients. However, three patients also had current exposure to Dostinex, and one had been treated with Permax. The unexpected finding of an increased risk with amantadine requires further investigation, the researchers said, because this drug is not known to activate 5-HT2B receptors."

    So 5 htp is not going to have an effect like these drugs on a heart valve. I have been taking it for years. It helps me replenish my neurotransmitters when I read too much. I have much of my cognitive function back thanks to 5-htp and some of the other neurotransmitter precursors.

    best wishes,


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