The label on 5-HTP bottles often state that it's not suggested for use under 18 years old, but that's just your typical legal liability warning. Realistically, 5-HTP shouldn't be used by anyone under 40 or 50 years old. The compound is only slightly effective as a preload to an Ecstasy trip, unless the user is already "understocked" from a previous roll. If the user is relatively healthy, the excess serotonin will have nowhere to go and the 5-HTP will simply be removed from the body in usual fashion or the serotonin reused by the body for something else.

Typically 5-HTP should only be used to counter dimished serotonin production which accompany other middle-age ailments, and to replenish serotonin stores immediately after a rapid depletion, such as in a roll. For frequent MDMA users, prime concern should be focusing on Vitamin C and water replenishment. Serotonin will restore itself to a good equilibrium over a period of time with no harmful interim effects besides a little emotional slump and mild depression, but the short term effects from Vitamin C deficiency or dehydration can cause serious injury if overlooked.

Unpatented = Unmentioned


For chemical Calvinist orthodoxy finds the notion that people should have a right to choose pharmacologically {sic} who and what they want to be profoundly offensive.--anonymous



5-HTP, 5-hydroxytryptophan, is extracted from an African herb, Griffonia simplicifolia. It can be bought at health food and vitamin providers at brick or virtual stores. It often comes in small bottles of 30 capsules of 50 mg of the chemical, and is touted as a help to boost serotonin levels.


Originally L-tryptophan, or L-5-HTP was used to treat depression, but it was made by a fermentation process that sometimes allowed contaminants into the product. Also 5-HTP is chemically closer to serotonin and thus more effective. There was from L-5-HTP possible allergic reaction called eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), whereby the overproduction of a substance in the blood stream that normally attacks microbial invaders causes symptoms including swelling, pain and rashes. The 5-HTP, however, is free from such maladies.


This alleviation of serotonin disorders, that have doctors prescribing selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac (fluoxetine) or Zoloft (Sertaline), is fifty percent superior as proven in double blinded tests for twenty-five years. The added benefits include none of the side effects of the pharmaceuticals, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, and the cost (unless you are talking money-bennies to those drug companies which cannot patent this herbal marvel.} Of course, 5-HTP is safer for those who have used up all of their dopamine and serotonin and need a smoothing out, when a reverse reaction to the 'wonderful fullness of life' on Ecstasy (MDMA: methylenedioxymethamphetamine) one of the intense re-uptake mechanism or any other strong mood enhancer or transformer.


Studies by pain specialists have demonstrated 5-HTP's effectiveness at relieving the headaches, tiredness, and generalized pain at varying places on the body. This treatment helps because fibromyalgia is a "low serotonin" disorder.


Ironically, 30 years ago researchers developed a drug, fenclonine, that blocks the tryptophan converting enzyme, because they thought preventing serotonin was the cure for migraines, but proved instead to worsen them - only in migraine sufferers, not normal subjects -- but now a breakthrough was made! At this time the EMS symptoms were discovered if one was given faulty produced tryptophans, and now, naturally, the superiority of 5-HTP.


They have shown in more than a hundred tests that high doses of 5-HTP cause no toxicity, and it is better than taking only melatonin, a naturally produced hormone that helps in our sleep patterns. Older people make less melatonin, and proper sleep is essential to healing. 5-HTP helps produce serotonin as well as melatonin that promote a feeling of well-being and relaxation. It is important to obtain the di-hydro form of 5-HTP in larger percentages (up to 100 mg) needed for the drowsiness inset, because normal 5-HTP in quantity can cause some stomach distress.

Panic Disorder

Researcher R.S. Kahn noticed subjects taking 5-HTP relieved of the associated high nervousness when "upset" in certain situations in their panic disorders.


Obese patients of Kahn treated with 5-HTP were able to feel satiated earlier, and thus reduce carbohydrate consumption.


One might try this product as an alternative to the costly ones that the large companies are putting out, but a bottle of 5-HTP is not covered by insurance, and costs around twenty U.S. dollars for 50 capsules of 50 mg. This writer, who tried it, felt as if his insides were swelling out like a human balloon full of some kind of welling energy. (Reminds me of my bad experience with Yohimbe), but later you sleep relatively peacefully. Maybe it is not a good thing for ones who are not depressed, as my experiment with Zoloft (Sertaline) was worse: anxious and headachey -- one's attitude becomes: apathy with a hard edge. 5-HTP does help one sleep, I concur, and perhaps the warnings of drowsiness should be heeded. As for using this herb to help or hinder other illegal drugs like MDMA, I do not recommend artificially messing with serotonin and dopamine inhibitors or enhancers-- as permanent damage can occur. Mixing this with SSRIs might cause problems including serotonin syndrome.

Dr. Murray Online

5-HTP is a more recently popularized version of Tryptophan which was banned in the early 1990's I believe. This was due to a problem in the manufacturing process which was causing toxicity (read: people were dying) in the end product.

You may wonder why we use 5-HTP to increase seratonin in the brain. Why not just take serotonin? Well, the answer is that serotonin can not cross the blood / brain barrier.... its molecules are too large. Taking serotonin in a pill would only cause it to float around in the blood stream, never to end up in the brain where it belongs. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, passes the blood / brain barrier and is converted in the brain.

In regards to its effect in the brain, 5-HTP increases the available supply of serotonin. This is helpful in case of serotonin depletion due to drug abuse (MDMA) or high levels of stress. However it is significantly different from drugs such as Prozac or Zoloft which alter the uptake rate and release rate of seratonin from neuroreceptors.

Briefly, once serotonin is released, it will bond to a neuroreceptor in the brain, creating a sensation of pleasure. In people who are depressed, there is one of three things gone wrong: 1) Not enough serotonin. 2) Serotonin is not effeciently attached to the receptor site. 3) The serotonin is released from the receptor too soon. Prescription drugs such as those previously mentioned work on the latter two problems, while 5-HTP addresses the first.

My personal experience with 5-HTP stems from about 2 months of research followed by a daily regimen of 100MG 2-3X per day for 3 months. I can say that regardless of who you are, you will feel a difference while taking this supplement. I do caution jumping in to this hig of a dose right off the bat, as headaches are not uncommon for 'overdose'. If you want to try it, start off at 50mg 2X per day and increase gradually to desired effect. 5-HTP is not a cure for a lousy life.

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