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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: 5-HTP

Generic Name: 5-hydroxytryptophan (Pronunciation: 5-hye DROX ee TRIP toe fan)

What is 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)?

5-hydroxytryptophan, also known as 5-HTP, is a dietary supplement made from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.

5-hydroxytryptophan has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia, chronic headaches, premenstrual syndrome, binge-eating related to obesity, attention deficit disorder, and chronic headaches. 5-hydroxytryptophan has also been used in treating certain seizures and symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Not all uses for 5-hydroxytryptophan have been approved by the FDA. 5-hydroxytryptophan should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

5-hydroxytryptophan is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

5-hydroxytryptophan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your healthcare provider at once if you have a serious side effect such as skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, or muscle weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • gas, heartburn; or
  • loss of appetite.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)?

Not all uses for 5-hydroxytryptophan have been approved by the FDA. 5-hydroxytryptophan should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

5-hydroxytryptophan is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Use 5-hydroxytryptophan as directed on the label, or as your healthcare provider has prescribed.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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