September 19, 2021

5-HTP Side Effects

5-HTP is a supplement made from an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. This dietary supplement is used by herbalists and naturopaths to treat problems like premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, anxiety, depression and chronic headaches. It is also used as a treatment for binge-eating, fibromyalgia and attention deficit disorder.

As a herbal supplement, 5-HTP is not closely regulated by the FDA. The Food and Drug Administration primarily regulates prescription drugs and food sources in the United States. Since 5-HTP is not highly regulated, patients cannot be certain of what is in their supplements or the amount of active chemicals in each dose. Patients who choose to take 5-HTP should always talk to their doctor about potential risks or benefits associated with the drug. To minimize the chances of contamination, herbal supplements like 5-HTP should always be bought from a reliable supplier.

Patients should never take 5-HTP if they are allergic to it or if they have Down syndrome. Individuals who have Down syndrome could end up having seizures if they choose to take this herbal supplement. Women who are pregnant or nursing should also avoid using this supplement because the effect on unborn children or nursing infants is not known.

5-HTP Side Effects

People who take 5-HTP may end up developing side effects like muscle weakness, numbness or skin rashes. Patients may also be easily bruised or develop tingling in their extremities. Other side effects associated with 5-HTP include nausea, flatulence, loss of appetite or stomach pain.

Some of the known side effects of 5-HTP include:

5-htp side effects– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Changes in appetite
– Muscle weakness
– Flatulence or bloating
– Abdominal pain
– Heartburn
– Seizures
– Diarrhea
– Drowsiness
– Tingling
– Numbness
– Sexual dysfunction
– Bruising
– Skin rashes
– Itching

Certain people may be allergic to 5-HTP. Signs of an allergic reaction include rashes, itching, problems breathing or fevers. If you or a loved one has an allergic reaction, you should immediately contact your doctor or a health care professional.

Warning!  Drug Interactions

Any antidepressant can negatively interact with 5-HTP. This herbal supplement can increase the levels of serotonin in the body. Many antidepressants like MAOIs can also increase serotonin. When this chemical rises too much, it can make the individual feel anxious or begin shivering. Patients who use antidepressants and 5-HTP may also develop heart problems. Anyone taking an antidepressant should avoid using 5-HTP.

Patients who have Parkinson’s disease should be extremely cautious when using 5-HTP. Certain drugs like carbidopa that are used with 5-HTP can cause a negative side effect. Individuals who take both chemicals unknowingly can develop nausea, vomiting or a scleroderma-like sickness.

Since 5-HTP is an herbal supplement, it is not subjected to the same stringent requirements that prescription drugs are held to. All of the side effects and drug interactions cannot be entirely known. To prevent complications, patient should talk to their doctor before using 5-HTP. Any medication, herbal supplement or over-the-counter drug could potentially cause a harmful drug interaction. Patients who have a history of medical problems or disorders could end up having worse side effects while taking 5-HTP.

Some studies suggest that 5-HTP could cause eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. This medical condition causes the patient to have abnormalities in their blood, tenderness and myalgia. Eosinophilia-myalgia may also be caused in patients who used an early version of 5-HTP. The first 5-HTP supplements in the United States were unintentionally sold with contaminants. New regulations introduced in 2007 may mitigate some of the risk for patients.

Anyone who is taking 5-HTP should take to their doctor first. If you or a loved one experiences an allergic reaction, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Patients who experience side effects should always get medical help. Some side effects associated with using 5-HTP can be serious. Only a qualified medical practitioner can decide if your symptoms are serious and figure out a different treatment option.