What do depression, insomnia, anxiety, suicide, migraines, PMS, obsessive/compulsive behavior, stress, obesity, and addiction have in common? All of these conditions are manifestations of low levels of serotonin. Many of the new prescription drugs that have become available since the absence of L-Tryptophan are designed to regulate brain serotonin levels (called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs). Drugs such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor work by selective enhancement of serotonin levels, and Dexfenfluramine (Redux) suppresses appetite by mimicking serotonin activity in the brain.
Now a natural and safe alternative to these drugs is available in the form of 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP, considered by researchers to be the safest tryptophan alternative available, is ten times more active than L-tryptophan and is the immediate precursor to serotonin (5-Hydroxy tryptamine or 5-HT).
Contraindications to 5-HTP use or conditions under which 5-HTP use should only be under the supervision of a physician are:
Cardiovascular Diseases (high blood pressure, post-stroke, post-heart attack); Extremely Elderly Persons; those with Parkinsons; Disease, Cancer or Autoimmune Diseases (Scleroderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus); Lung Diseases; Chronic Alcoholism; Liver diseases (hepatitis or cirrhosis); parasitic infection; AIDS; Anorexia Nervosa; Low protein Diets; Allergies (severe); Myalgia (persistent pain and weakness of the muscles); Peripheral Neuropathy (pain weakness of the muscles); Rash or Flushing; Edema; Nausea; Diarrhea; Sickle cell anemia; hemophilia; Pregnancy
Concurrent drug use: 5-HTP should not be used if taking: Anti-depressant drugs; Monoamine oxidase inhibitors; Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's e.g., Prozac); Tricyclic medications; Weight Loss medications (i.e., dextenfluramine); Anti-parkinson medications (e.g., L-dopa); Barbiturates and other tranquilizing drugs; Antihistamines and cold medications; Alcoholic beverages; Intravenous (illegal I.V.) drugs; Cancer chemotherapy or antibiotic medications.
Warning: Dosages of 5-hydroxy L-tryptophan (5-HTP) greater than 100 milligrams per day should be taken only under the guidance of a physician. 5-HTP use at doses greater than 100 mg per day should be taken with the prescription drug carbadopa to prevent excessive levels of serotonin production in the peripheral blood circulation. 5-HTP can increase the effect of tranquilizing drugs and can impair the ability to drive an automobile.
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