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votes

5htp as alternative to SNRI in treating anxiety/depression?

Answered on December 16, 2013
Created November 06, 2013 at 9:30 AM

I was on Effexor(Venlafaxine), wich is an SNRI, for about 6 years. When i went paleo i realized that my anxiety and depression was basically gone! Until about 6 weeks ago when i was getting panic attacks from physical symtoms like weird pain/sensations from my stomach, muscle twitching, and a lump in my throat which made me belive(still do) that i must have some form of cancer or neurological illness like MS or ALS. I have been to 3 doctors and they can't find anythin wrong with me. Today i went to a psychiatrist and she wanted me to go back on Effexor. I really don't want to do that because i think it makes me feel kinda numb to feelings, and because it took me 2 years to completely stop taking it!

Does anyone have experience with 5HTP or Tryptophan for treating anxiety/depression?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 13, 2013
at 04:14 PM

Ouch! Lawmakers suck. See if you can import it if you carry it with you. i.e. travel to another country where it's legal and bring it back - maybe you can, maybe you can't - check your laws first.

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 08, 2013
at 05:36 PM

I ordered 5HTP from iHerb but it bounced back. Apparently it's classified as a drug in Sweden :S

Apparently tho i can get pure Tryptophan in a pet store. It's marketed for horses!

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on November 06, 2013
at 08:51 PM

I'm speaking as someone who's a lifer on SSRIs. I wouldn't know about weaning oneself off of them. Sorry for not thinking about that aspect.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on November 06, 2013
at 08:42 PM

@SwedishMeatloaf Good luck! Maybe look into your zinc / b6 / mg / vitamin c cofactors.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on November 06, 2013
at 08:40 PM

I've seen a few people taper off lex, it's not pretty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSRI_discontinuation_syndrome -- 15% had symptoms > a year, 11% with anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, dysphoria, crying spells, etc. on top of the brain zaps. I remember watching the crying spells and hearing complaints of brain zaps.. weird drug to want to take.

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 06:25 PM

I've ordered Now Foods 5-htp and will try that first. If i get no benefit from it, i will ask for alternatives to venlafaxine. Thanks for the suggestion :)

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 06, 2013
at 04:58 PM

lol I was just coming on PaleoHacks to get some input on 5-HTP use for something else and this question was at the top of the stream. Couldn't help but share my coincidence. No feedback on your question though.

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 04:53 PM

The thing is, Effexor did work for me but the weaning was so bad. How will i know Lexapro will work?

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 02:50 PM

Thats me ;)

The thing is that i DO have many physical symptoms and they bother me a lot. I'm usually not like this. Only when i have symptoms that i don't recognize. That's why i need help with my anxiety and hypochondriasis.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on November 06, 2013
at 09:59 AM

Just looking out in case you got the script and the supps. BH4 cycle is the rate-limiting step in serotonin production. Looks like this. I'm a fan of DNA genotyping. The nutrition advise is basic Paleo stuff.

(Maybe look into SAMe and b vitamins with your doc. Also D / A / zinc / electrolytes and all that.)

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 09:56 AM

I was only gonna take 5-htp and not the snri. What is the BH4 cycle and how do i support it? ;)

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6 Answers

0
F78a046c14c35a2f78066b95f9fb0d3d

on December 13, 2013
at 09:21 AM

5-HTP Max supplement helps treating depression. 5-HTP Max's primary component is 5-htp which is known as 5-hydroxytryptophane. This nutrient is a chemical compound that regulates serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain. If your brain's central nervous system does not have enough serotonin, it will cause you to feel anxious and depressed. What 5-htp does is to increase serotonin levels so that you will feel happy,more relaxed and generally feel good about yourself.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on November 08, 2013
at 11:54 AM

If you do take 5HTP, you'd need to balance it out with L-tyrosine, or you'll have other issues. You'll want to check out Dr. Kalish's stuff on this. Typically he recommends 500mg of L-Tyrosine and 50mg of 5HTP. Also check out Julia Ross's Mood Cure.

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 08, 2013
at 05:36 PM

I ordered 5HTP from iHerb but it bounced back. Apparently it's classified as a drug in Sweden :S

Apparently tho i can get pure Tryptophan in a pet store. It's marketed for horses!

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on November 06, 2013
at 05:45 PM

@SwedishMeatloaf,

No one can guarantee anyone's reaction to a medication; that's why medicine is an art rather than a science. But with Effexor producing such intense unpleasant effects, what do you have to lose at this point?

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 06:25 PM

I've ordered Now Foods 5-htp and will try that first. If i get no benefit from it, i will ask for alternatives to venlafaxine. Thanks for the suggestion :)

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on November 06, 2013
at 03:41 PM

@SwedishMeatloaf: Effexor is an old SSRI. Ask your doctor about Lexapro, which doesn't have nearly as many side effects as older SSRIs.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on November 06, 2013
at 08:40 PM

I've seen a few people taper off lex, it's not pretty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSRI_discontinuation_syndrome -- 15% had symptoms > a year, 11% with anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, dysphoria, crying spells, etc. on top of the brain zaps. I remember watching the crying spells and hearing complaints of brain zaps.. weird drug to want to take.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on November 06, 2013
at 08:51 PM

I'm speaking as someone who's a lifer on SSRIs. I wouldn't know about weaning oneself off of them. Sorry for not thinking about that aspect.

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 04:53 PM

The thing is, Effexor did work for me but the weaning was so bad. How will i know Lexapro will work?

0
7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on November 06, 2013
at 02:40 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypochondriasis

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 02:50 PM

Thats me ;)

The thing is that i DO have many physical symptoms and they bother me a lot. I'm usually not like this. Only when i have symptoms that i don't recognize. That's why i need help with my anxiety and hypochondriasis.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on November 06, 2013
at 09:35 AM

Careful with that stuff. 5HTP + SNRI = serotonin syndrome. I've tried 5-htp before, I didn't particularly like it. I think it's better to support the BH4 cycle and other nutritional issues.

05e260e5bc2acedf51dd24535e2060c9

on November 06, 2013
at 09:56 AM

I was only gonna take 5-htp and not the snri. What is the BH4 cycle and how do i support it? ;)

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