I successfully transitioned from an anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medication(Paxil) to 5HTP-50mg by gradually reducing Paxil by 50% each day while increasing 5HTP TO 50mg. The whole weaning process took about four days. Note: experts say an anti-anxiety ant-depressant should never be stopped suddenly and I agree. I tried that once and found myself doing some irrational things.
CAUTION: I did find when I increased the 5HTP to 100mg, it actually increased my anxiety. This happened when my health food store brought in 100mg strength instead of the usual 50mg strength. Fortunately I realised what was happening and split the remainder in half and everything was fine from there on.
Update - My usual store didn't have 5HTP 50mg in stock so I decided to try 5HTP100mg instead. What a mistake! After taking one 100mg tablet I became very anxious. I then put the balance of the tablets through a pill splitter so that they were just 50mg and the anxiety disappeared.
Now I am very careful to make sure I am buying only the 50mg strength. I even admonished the store a few times that the recommended dose was 50mg and that 100mg can actually increase anxiety and they have finally caught on.
5HTP doesn't mimic serotonin. it acts as a precursor for serotonin and melatonin which means it helps your body to naturally produce more of each. The end result is you feel better (serotonin) and sleep better (melatonin). The recommended dosage is 50mg. per day. Exceeding 50mg may cause anxiety so best to stick to 50mg.
I've read a few posts on the use of 5HTP and unusual symptoms (headaches, pains, etc) after using for awhile. Just wanted to recommend The Mood Cure book which helps to explain that these symptoms could possibly be caused by too much serotonin (serotonin syndrome). The gist of the 5HTP part is just using it long enough, and in proper doses, to where you feel better. Once you start getting abnormal symptoms, it can indicate that you are getting too much of a good thing, at which point you would stop or cut back.
I was having terrible IBS symptoms along with extreme anxiety. I started taking 5-htp on the advice of my naturopathic doctor. Within 1-2 weeks, my IBS reduced substantially and my anxiety lessened dramatically. I felt great everyday with a more stable, consistent mood than I have ever felt in my life.
According to my doctor, a large proportion of serotonin either resides or is made in your gut (I forget which) so it makes sense that it helped my IBS. When I started, I was taking 200 mg each morning. It didn't help me sleep though, in fact it kept me wide awake. After taking for about a year or so, I started feeling very ill every morning. It took me a long time to figure out it was the 5-htp. However, my general health has improved much over the past year and I have now cut the dose back to 50 mg per day and can handle it fine. My doctor told me my system probably did not need as much now and this is perhaps why larger doses were making me so ill.
Serotonin is a vital neurotransmitter for all types of things... From mental to physical health. I had severe anxiety and tried different things from Velirium Root to different aroma therapies... The one thing that works amazingly was 5-HTP. It helps one get serotonin and serotonin helps with anxiety, depression, sleep problems (converts to melatonin), and muscle health (let's you get delta sleep so that your body can release growth hormone and repair muscle tissue). In the book "Pain Cure" there's a great recap of all the benefits of serotonin.
I HIGHLY recommend it for anxiety/depression. It helped change my life... Along with Yoga, MSM (joint pain), etc.
I found this remedy when I was looking for herbal remedies for my daily headaches. I found 5-HTP. According to the article,some of the things it helped with are insomnia, headaches, anxiety & depression. I thought could it be? I immediately went to my husband to show him what I had found because he had problems sleeping at night as well. We went a few days later to our local drug store and picked up a bottle of 50mg. 5-HTP. We had decided on the lowest dosage available in our area, upping the dosage as we went along if it was necessary. We have only been on it for a few days now but there is a very noticeable difference. We both have been sleeping through the night and feeling more refreshed when we wake. My anxiety attacks are gone as well as my headaches. We both are much less snappish than what we were before. We haven't noticed any side effects so far. We are taking them with a meal or a small snack and so far we have stayed at 50mg. Thanks for the very useful information that lead to this discovery!
I began taking 5-HTP for depression and anxiety and sleeplessness during a very emotionally stressful breakup. I have Not had an anxity attack since 3-07 which I had suffered from off and on for several years. I sleep so much better. I am able to think clearer and stay focused and concentrate so much better as well as improved my memory. I am thankful for this. My dr. wanted to put me on Wellbutrine. NO Thank U!