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Safety and side effects of 5 HTP supplement.

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I am 47 years old - weight 75 kg - do weight training - have depression symptoms - started taking 100mg of herbal supplement 5htp for past three weeks- works OK for mood and depression.
Not sure about safety of 5htp and side effects short and long term.
I am also taking daily 5mg crestor and 100mg aspirin for my cholesterol.

I have been feeling some pain on external part of hand elbows and especially when i press on my elbows. looks like nerves pains.

1-Can it be related to 5HTP?
2-What are side effects short term and long terms?
3-It is safe?

Category: Psychiatrist

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 20 Doctors Online

Thanks for your query at I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.

The pain that you are stating cannot occur with the use of 5htp. It is probably a tennis elbow and will require rest , physiotherapy and painkillers and if required a steroid shot.
5Htp is a herbal preparation and its relatively safe with no seriius side effect. However it is mixed with impurities some times and that can lead to toxicities. It would be better to take allopathic medicines instead. The drugs like desvenlafaxine or sertraline or escitalopram are also good and relatively safe.

Hope this helps, would be glad to answer any follow-ups.
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD

Patient replied :

Thank you for your reply. I have tried the drugs you have suggested but i felt like a walking zombie.
5HTP works ok for me it keeps me calm and at the same time without the zombie feeling.
but i am worried about its safety and side effect on the long term... can you please let me know what u think

Hello. Thank you for writing to us again.
If the drugs are not suiting you then it would be ok to continue with the 5htp. In case you land up with some side effect then you can discontinue it. Mostly the side effect will the reversible and then you can discontinue it. I know atleas 15patients who are taking 5HTP and are doing good since long.
Feel free to discuss further,

Dr. Srikanth Reddy
Category: Sexologist
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Psychiatry Residency Program,2001 – 2012
M.B.B.S,Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Sevagram

Certificate Course in sex Therapy and Counselling, Sexology and Counselling, A
Sexology,Medikon Sexual Sciences, Mumbai

Training in Advanced Neurology at a leading corporate hospital (CARE hospital) in Hyderabad

Child Psychiatry Training in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore

Sex Therapy and Counsellingat MEDIKON Sexual Sciences, Mumbai.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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