serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.
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myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities (eosinophilia). Some people think EMS might be caused by an accidental ingredient (contaminant) in some 5-HTP products. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know if EMS is caused by 5-HTP, a contaminant, or some other factor. Until more is known, 5-HTP should be used cautiously.
Other potential side effects of 5-HTP include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: 5-HTP is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth when pregnant or breast-feeding. Avoid using it.
Down syndrome: There are reports of 5-HTP causing seizures in some people with Down syndrome. In one group studied, 15% of people with Down syndrome receiving long-term 5-HTP treatment experienced seizures.
Surgery: 5-HTP can affect a brain chemical called serotonin. Some drugs administered during surgery can also affect serotonin. Taking 5-HTP before surgery might cause too much serotonin in the brain and can result in serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Tell patients to stop taking 5-HTP at least 2 weeks before surgery.
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.