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
5-HTP is sometimes taken by people coming down from MDMA to relieve post-MDMA dysphoria. As 5-HTP is a necessary precursor for the brain to produce more serotonin, and MDMA use depletes a person's natural serotonin levels, it is believed that taking 5-HTP after consuming MDMA will speed up serotonin production. DanceSafe claims that the anecdotal evidence is widespread and that the theory is physiologically reasonable. Backing up this approach is research conducted by Wang, et al. in 2007, which observed that MDMA-induced depletions of 5-HT (serotonin) were restored in rats after administration 5-HTP, and suggested that this approach might be clinically useful in abstinent MDMA users.