L-tryptophan (Tryptophan, Tryptan)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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GENERIC NAME: L-tryptophan

BRAND NAME: Tryptophan, Tryptan

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: L-tryptophan is an herbal supplement used for depression. Chemically it is a natural occurring amino acid obtained from plants and animals. L-tryptophan is an "essential" amino acid because humans cannot make it and must obtain L-tryptophan from food. It is converted in the body to serotonin. People with depression have an imbalance of serotonin and other brain chemicals. Increased serotonin levels in the brain improve symptoms of depression.

PRESCRIBED FOR: L-tryptophan is used for depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, premenstrual syndrome and many other problems.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of L-tryptophan are:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/29/2015

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