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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PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: L-tryptophan is available in 500 mg and 1000 mg tablets and capsules.

STORAGE: L-tryptophan is stored in tightly closed containers. Due to multiple companies producing this medication, storage requirement may vary based on manufacturer.

DOSING:

  • Adults: Take 8 to 12 grams of L-tryptophan by mouth per day. L-tryptophan should be taken in divided doses of three or four times a day.
  • Pediatric: Safe and effective use in pediatric patients is not determined.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: L-tryptophan should be used with caution with other anti-depressants like citalopram (Celexa), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), vilazodone, linezolid, and phenelzine because of increased risk of a serious condition called serotonin syndrome caused by excessive serotonin in the brain.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies done on L-tryptophan to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether L-tryptophan enters breast milk; however, it is best to avoid L-tryptophan during breastfeeding to avoid risk to the newborn.

Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD

REFERENCE: FDA.gov.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/29/2015

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