5-Htp

What other names is 5-htp known by?

5HTP, 5 HTP, 5 Hydroxy-Tryptophan, 5 Hydroxy-Tryptophane, 5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-Hydroxytryptophane, 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan, 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophane, 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan, 5-Hydroxy Tryptophane, 5-L-Hydroxytryptophan, L-5 HTP, L-5 hydroxytryptophan, L-5 Hydroxytryptophane, Oxitriptan.

What is 5-htp?

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a chemical by-product of the protein building block L-tryptophan. It is also produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia).

5-HTP is used for sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and along with prescription drugs to treat seizure disorder and Parkinson's disease.

Possibly Effective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Alcoholism. Early research shows that taking 5-HTP with D-phenylalanine and L-glutamine for 40 days can reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, taking 5-HTP with carbidopa daily for one year does not seem to help people stop drinking. The effect of 5-HTP alone for alcoholism is not clear.
  • Alzheimer's disease. Early research suggests that taking 5-HTP by mouth does not help symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Anxiety. Evidence on the effects of 5-HTP for anxiety is unclear. Taking up to 300 mg of 5-HTP daily along with carbidopa seems to reduce anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders. However, taking 60 mg of 5-HTP daily through the vein does not reduce anxiety in people with panic disorders.
  • Nervous system disorder (Cerebellar ataxia). Evidence on the use of 5-HTP for cerebellar ataxia is unclear. Early evidence shows that taking 5 mg/kg of 5-HTP daily for 4 months can decrease nervous system dysfunction. However, other research shows that taking 5-HTP daily for up to one year does not improve symptoms of cerebellar ataxia.
  • Down syndrome. Taking 2 mg/kg of 5-HTP daily for 3 years does not improve muscle movement, social skills, or intellectual development in newborn children with Down syndrome.
  • Headache. Evidence on the use of 5-HTP to prevent or treat headache symptoms is unclear. Some research shows that taking 5-HTP daily can reduce headache symptoms in children with headaches. However, other studies show that 5-HTP does not reduce the number or severity of headaches.
  • Insomnia. Taking an amino acid formula (Gabadone) containing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and 5-HTP seems to help people with sleeping problems fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The effect of 5-HTP alone on sleeping problems is unclear.
  • Menopausal symptoms. Taking 150 mg of 5-HTP daily for 4 weeks does not reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women.
  • Migraine headache. Evidence on the effects of 5-HTP for the prevention or treatment of migraines in adults is unclear. Some studies show that taking 5-HTP daily does not reduce migraines, while other studies show that it might be as beneficial as prescription drugs. 5-HTP does not seem to reduce migraines in children.
  • Obesity. Early research suggests that taking 5-HTP might help reduce appetite, caloric intake, and weight in obese people.
  • Muscle spasms in the mouth (Palatal myoclonus). Early evidence suggests that taking 5-HTP by mouth might reduce muscle spasms in people with palatal myoclonus.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of 5-HTP for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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