5 HTP is a popular herbal supplement for boosting serotonin levels. People across the globe rely on this natural remedy for managing a wide range of chronic conditions, but what 5 HTP side effects should you be looking out for?
In this article, we’ll explain the most common side effects of 5 HTP, as well as which side effects would constitute a medical emergency.
What Side Effects Should You Look Out For When Taking 5 HTP?
When you’re taking 5 HTP, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects that could occur. If you’re aware of the side effects, you’ll know what to look out for and when you should contact your doctor for advice.
Read on to discover the most common side effects of 5 HTP, as well as the more serious side effect which could be a medical emergency.
What Is 5 HTP Used For?
People across the world rely on the natural abilities of 5 HTP to manage a wide range of chronic conditions, from anxiety and depression to migraines and insomnia.
Some of the chronic conditions that 5 HTP is used for include:
- Insomnia or sleep difficulties
- Weight Loss
How Does 5 HTP Work?
5-Hydroxytryptophan, more commonly known as 5 HTP, is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body. This amino acid triggers the production of serotonin, which helps to control your mood, sleep and appetite. The more 5 HTP that is in your body, the more serotonin your body will produce.
As well as being naturally produced by the human body, 5 HTP is also found within the seeds of Griffonia Simplicifolia, a climbing shrub native to Africa. 5 HTP can be extracted from the seeds of Griffonia Simplicifolia to create naturally-derived 5 HTP supplements.
When a person takes a 5 HTP supplement, the body’s production of serotonin is stimulated and the body begins to produce more of the hormone. This boost in serotonin promotes feelings of confidence and wellbeing, as well as lowering stress levels.
This makes 5 HTP beneficial for easing a wide range of chronic conditions, which is why people around the world rely on its natural benefits.
What Are The Side Effects Of Taking 5 HTP?
Like any medication or supplement, 5 HTP can have side effects. For most people, these side effects are mild and most people will not experience any side effects at all. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects so that you can act upon them if required.
Here are five possible side effects of taking 5 HTP, and what you should do about them.
Elevated Serotonin Levels
Possibly the most serious side effect of taking 5 HTP supplements is experiencing a spike in serotonin levels. Although 5 HTP is usually taken to increase serotonin levels, it is possible to have too much serotonin in your body.
A spike in serotonin, also known as serotonin syndrome, is often the result of taking 5 HTP supplements alongside other medications that also increase serotonin levels, such as antidepressants like SSRIs or MAO inhibitors. If you take any other medication, you should always check with your doctor, pharmacist or medical provider that your medication won’t interact with 5 HTP before you begin taking the supplements.
If you have too much serotonin in your body, you may notice side effects such as:
If you think that you may be suffering from elevated serotonin levels, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Serotonin syndrome can be a medical emergency.
As we’ve already discussed, 5 HTP helps to increase the amount of serotonin in your body. Serotonin doesn’t just make you feel good – it’s also used in the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. This is why 5 HTP is often used to improve sleep. However, this means that a common side effect of taking 5 HTP supplements is drowsiness.
If you experience drowsiness after taking 5 HTP, it’s important to avoid driving or operating machinery. Some people choose to take their 5 HTP supplements in an evening to reduce the impact of drowsiness on their lives.
However, if you feel excessively drowsy after taking 5 HTP, or you’re concerned about your symptoms, you should consult a doctor for medical advice.
Some people report suffering from gastrointestinal (GI) issues after taking 5 HTP supplements. These symptoms may include:
- Feelings of uncomfortable fullness
- Rumbling sensations in the stomach
If you experience gastrointestinal symptoms after taking 5 HTP, stop taking the supplements and contact your doctor for advice. These symptoms are unlikely to be serious, but it’s best to get advice where your health is concerned.
As with any medication or supplement, it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to 5 HTP. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) are possible but extremely rare. Symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction to 5 HTP include:
- Swelling of the lips, throat or tongue
- Skin rash or hives
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
If you think you may be experiencing an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, you should seek emergency medical care immediately.
Many people take 5 HTP to help with weight loss. However, if you are taking 5 HTP for another condition, you may experience weight loss as an unintended side effect.
5 HTP helps to increase feelings of fullness, meaning that you may eat less and lose weight when taking 5 HTP supplements. If you don’t want to lose weight, 5 HTP supplements may not be an ideal supplement for you.
If you experience sudden and extreme weight loss when taking 5 HTP, stop taking the supplement and contact your medical provider for advice.
When Should You See A Doctor?
It’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor, pharmacist or medical provider before beginning taking a new supplement. This is because some supplements can interact with other medications that you’re taking or may not be the most suitable treatment for your condition.
If you’re taking 5 HTP supplements, you should contact your doctor if:
- You develop new or worsening symptoms
- 5 HTP does not improve your symptoms
- You develop unpleasant side effects
If you experience signs of anaphylaxis or serotonin syndrome, you should seek emergency medical care immediately, as these are medical emergencies.
Is 5 HTP Worth The Potential Side Effects?
The decision of whether to take 5 HTP is a personal choice which should be made with your doctor. Many people rely on the natural effects of 5 HTP to manage their chronic conditions, but it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects and to seek medical care if required.
Can 5 HTP Cause Serotonin Syndrome?
5 HTP increases your body’s production of serotonin. This is beneficial in helping to treat a range of conditions including depression, anxiety and insomnia. However, if your body has too much serotonin, it can lead to serotonin syndrome.
Serotonin syndrome usually occurs when you take more than one medication which increases serotonin. For this reason, you should never take 5 HTP if you’re taking other medications that increase serotonin levels, such as antidepressants like SSRIs and MAO inhibitors.
Can 5 HTP Make You Feel Worse?
There are some side effects of 5 HTP that you should be aware of, such as rare instances of anaphylaxis and serotonin syndrome if 5 HTP is taken alongside SSRIs or MAO inhibitors. However, many people across the world rely on the natural benefits of 5 HTP to manage their chronic conditions. If you notice any unpleasant side effects from taking 5 HTP, you should discontinue its use immediately.
When Should You Not Take 5 HTP?
You shouldn’t take 5 HTP if you are already taking medication to increase the level of serotonin in your body. This includes antidepressants such as SSRIs and MAO inhibitors. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning taking 5 HTP to ensure that it won’t interact with any other medications that you’re taking.
Try 5 HTP Supplements Today
Many people swear by the natural effects of 5 HTP supplements to improve their wellbeing and manage their chronic conditions. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects so that you know when to seek medical attention.If you’re ready to try 5 HTP supplements to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing, you can purchase vegan-friendly 5 HTP supplements from our online store.