A: 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-tryptophan) 5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan is converted to serotonin in the body. Because 5-HTP is related to serotonin, it should not be taken with drugs, which may affect serotonin level. These drugs are SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram) and others. The list of drugs: Plavix (clopidogrel), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Uroxatral (alfuzosin), bisoprolol, aspirin and lisinopril do not affect serotonin in the body. Tramadol, however, has a weak inhibition of serotonin reuptake and can increase serotonin levels. It is therefore recommended that tramadol and 5-HTP be used with caution. The patient needs to be monitored for serotonin syndrome, which may include changes in mental status, tremor, hyperthermia, rigidity, seizure, increase sweating and shaky movement. The interaction may also cause a cerebral vasoconstrictive disorder such as Call-Fleming syndrome. It is important to discuss the use of tramadol and 5-HTP with your healthcare provider before taking 5-HTP. Lori Mendoza, RPh
All of this becomes heavily ironic when you consider that the chemical in question – a hormone called oxytocin – is often billed as the “hormone of love”, and even marketed as “Liquid Trust”. As a new study shows, the reality is much more complicated. Describing oxytocin as the “hormone of love” is like describing a computer as a “writing tool” – it does other things too, some of which aren’t pleasant.
Once the baby is born, oxytocin promotes lactation by moving the milk into the breast. When the baby sucks at the mother's breast, oxytocin secretion causes the milk to release so the baby can feed. At the same time, oxytocin is released into the brain to stimulate further oxytocin production. Once the baby stops feeding, the production of the hormone stops until the next feeding.
In another study, published in PNAS in 2010, men were given a dose of oxytocin and asked to write about their mothers. Those with secure relationships described their moms as more caring after the hormone dose. Those with troubled relationships actually saw their mothers as less caring. The hormone may help with the formation of social memories, according to the study researchers, so a whiff strengthens previous associations, whether good or bad.
5-HTP is sold over the counter in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid. It is also marketed in many European countries for the indication of major depression under the trade names Cincofarm, Levothym, Levotonine, Oxyfan, Telesol, Tript-OH, and Triptum.