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5-HTP and mental health

Stagestop,

You appear to be knowledgeable in the area of neurotransmitters, so that makes me wonder if you are a psychiatrist or a psychologist or some type of medical doctor. Can you clarify this for me and others please.

The guys are correct in that one should NEVER stop medications without checking with their doctors first, even in a case of an allergic reaction, a doctor needs to be notified; and yet you seem to be suggesting that kitten stop taking a medication that her doctor prescribed for her without her talking it over with the doctor first. That concerns me. I do not have a good enough base of SSRI’s to say one way or another, except that a heart to heart conversation needs to take place with a qualified doctor before changing anything.


sunny A day without sunshine is like a day without laughter :sun:

The ultimate cure for depression = Unlimited money + Unlimited whores

Hi Avocet, Para Goomba, and Sunshine Kid

First let me start this posts by reprinting Kittens statement that she wrote yesterday where she says:

I will first find a psychiatrist since I don’t have one. Once you are regulated on medication, they don’t need to see you anymore so I haven’t been to a Psychiatrist in years. I’m way to paranoid to do this by myself. I can’t afford much down time, I have a business to run and a household of 5, who’s going to replace me if I go down during the transition? That’s a big deterrent for me. It’s not just the panic attacks but I also get disoriented when the Paxil is leaving my bloodstream. That’s how I know if I forgot a dose, I feel cobwebs on the brain (that just means you can’t think straight).

FoxMarine went out and bought some and Nick 666 is going to so I’ll see how they do with it.

I need to make a change, that much I’m sure of.

That being the case, we are now discussing only the theoretical.

The cases from Pub Med that you have cited are interesting, but not on point. Kitten is not so much looking to stop taking something for Serotonin support, but rather wants to substitute one that is not working for her with another.

The Second case that Para-Goomba cited does a good job in defining the difference. It is printed in full below:
Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000 Nov;15(6):305-18. Related Articles, Links

Abrupt and brief discontinuation of antidepressant treatment: effects on cognitive function and psychomotor performance.

Hindmarch I, Kimber S, Cockle SM.

HPRU Medical Research Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

The abrupt discontinuation of antidepressants can result in a syndrome of adverse events, including somatic, mood and psychomotor reactions. This study examined the effects of discontinuing and resuming antidepressant treatment with four selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on cognitive and psychomotor function. Eighty-seven patients receiving maintenance therapy with fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine or citalopram had their treatment interrupted for 4-7 days using double-blind placebo. Assessments of aspects of cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood and symptoms were carried out at each visit. Following interruption of treatment, significant differences between the groups emerged. Paroxetine treated patients experienced significantly more cognitive failures (P = 0.007), poorer quality of sleep (P = 0.016), and an increase in depressive symptoms, as rated both subjectively, using the Zung scale (P = 0.006) and by the clinician, using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (P = 0.0003) and Clinical Global Impression (P = 0.0003), compared to some or all of the other drugs. All changes were reversed on reinstatement of treatment. Abrupt discontinuation of treatment with paroxetine leads to deterioration in various aspects of health and functioning, which may be related to the antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. These effects are not evident in patients receiving fluoxetine, sertraline and citalopram, suggesting they are not an SSRI class phenomenon.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Multicenter Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

PMID: 11110006 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The part that shows the differentiation is “All changes were reversed on reinstatement of treatment.” So, they are saying that if you start taking more of the SSRI, the bad effects of ending that treatment were reversed. This is not just a study on Paxil, but on Paxil and three other SSRI’s, and in all of those cases, when the treatment was restored, the effects that went along with stopping went away.

The conclusion from this report is that if you have your synaptic Serotonin levels drop, you feel side effects. If you then raise your synaptic levels of Serotonin, the side effects go away. When I mention “side effects” I am only referring the effects of stopping, and not the side effects of taking the drug in the first place.

Ok, that being said, one has to go back to what an SSRI does. The intended effect is to boost synaptic Serotonin levels by inhibiting reuptake. As I described in my previous postings, reuptake is one of four methods that the body uses to get rid of Serotonin. To say it another way, the hope is to keep more Serotonin in the synapse (were neurotransmission takes place) by inhibiting its ability to leave the synapse through the process of reuptake.

How effective is the action of inhibiting reuptake in keeping Serotonin levels up in the synapse? The answer is not very good. No SSRI creates even one molecule of Serotonin. The effectiveness of any SSRI depends mostly on how much Serotonin a person is able to make by themselves. Basically, the less Serotonin that you make, the less effective inhibiting reuptake is.

Now if one feels that he needs to increase his Serotonin levels, 5 HTP is the ONLY thing that will cause Serotonin to be made. Since this is sold over the counter, anyone, including Kitten, is free to purchase it and supplement with it whenever they choose. So if a person was to suffer a reduced level of synaptic Serotonin, taking a 5 HTP pill would begin increasing Serotoin in about 90 minutes, if taken on an empty stomach. So, as there are no side effects to taking 5 HTP (except the upset stomach from eating dried plant stalks) it is an easy way to stop the side effects caused by low levels of Serotonin.

In looking at my previous posts, I do regret giving the very abbreviated response to Kitten about the half life of Serotonin, and the minimal side effects. I should have given her a much more detailed response so that she would better understand how problems may be eliminated. I apologize.

Best regards,

Stage

Originally Posted by Stagestop
The drug companies know this very well, but since 5 HTP cannot be patented as it is a natural substance, they are forced to find an alternative to supplementing with 5 HTP in order to sell you their Anti depressants. They need to have a compound that can be patented, in order to make any money. And in this case, since the 5 HTP that is sold over the counter is sold cheaply, there is no profit potential for them there, and they do not even make 5 HTP.


This smacks of conspiration theories, that the advocated way of treating depression etc is ruled by what companies can sell. I’m not in research myself, but I am close to some who are, and rest assured that there are lot’s of people in the world that have a very critical way at looking at things. If medicine companies could make a medicine that took away scurvy, so that one wouldn’t have to eat vitamin C in order to be well - do you really think doctors would recommend the anti-scurvy medicine only, and totally ignore the alternative of eating well?

That’s just silly.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

Originally Posted by quattot

The ultimate cure for depression = Unlimited money + Unlimited whores

You have obviously never suffered the misery of mental depression. Your supposed cure is completely inane since it would bring no joy to a sufferer of mental depression.


Feb 2004 BPEL 6.7" NBPEL ???? BPFSL ???? EG 5.65" Feb 2005 BPEL 7.1" NBPEL 5.8" BPFSL 6.9" EG 5.8" Feb 2006 BPEL 7.3" NBPEL 5.8" BPFSL 7.6" EG 5.85" Feb 2007 BPEL 7.3" NBPEL 5.8" BPFSL 7.5" EG 5.9"

As another healthcare professional, I admire your knowledge on neurotransmitters, but I am concerned by a number of things.

Originally Posted by stagestop
The good news is that is no problem at all. And in very short order you will be a new lady, with a couple of proviso’s to that statement.

As to difficulty in switching from Paxil to 5 HTP, there are no difficulties. You should wait at least 5 days after ending Paxil before starting 5 HTP. 5 HTP will work in less than 12 hours on you. I would suggest that your initial dosage be 100 milligrams per day of 5 HTP. When you feel comfortable, and at least after one week at the 100 mg dosage, try out 50 mg as your daily dosage and see what happens. You may well do with the smaller amount.

This is a rather sweeping statement with ‘placebo’ value, but as shown by many of the above links, it is not ‘no problem at all’ to switch from taking Paxil, and this should only be done under careful medical supervision. To prescribe based on very limited information and no patient contact is inadvisable.

Originally Posted by stagestop
To summarize:

1. The manufacturer of Paxil has told you that you should not be on their product and I agree with them.

2. It is very easy to get off of Paxil and onto 5 HTP. Simply stop taking Paxil, wait 5 days, and then start with 100 mg a day of 5 HTP. Take it in the morning, and you should notice it in your sleep that night. You should also feel better the next day.

My above comment applies again. The only person who should be advising a patient that they should not be on a medication is a qualified MD, after consultation and necessary tests. The manufacturer has had no contact with the patient (Kitten), and has NOT told her she should not be on Paxil. It is NOT ‘very easy to get off Paxil and onto 5 HTP’.

Originally Posted by stagestop
One of the problems in giving generalized advice in this field is that there is often more to the puzzle than is offered.

In the field of mental health, there is always more to the puzzle and a general panacea is not possible. However, general information is useful and gives possibilities for further discussion face to face with a medical professional. Specific recommendations with insufficient knowledge of the condition are potentially far more damaging than general information.

Originally Posted by stagestop
Returning to health when we have endocrine and neurological issues can take time as each item is addressed. Doing it on the internet is difficult because there is no interaction. One person describes a problem, and they get responses to that particular problem. What is left out, are all of the other items that may be contributing to that problem.

That codicil should perhaps have been attached to the very first post, although it would have reduced the ‘authoritativeness’ of it.

Originally Posted by stagestop
In 41 cases of IBS that I have handled, my success rate with 5 HTP is 100%. Modern medicine will tell you that IBS is an untreatable condition. Hmmm.

When it comes to colitis, (bowel inflammation and pain) the most prescribed drug is best described as “artificial mucus.” And yes, once again 5 HTP has a perfect record (so far) of fixing people that have colitis that I have worked with.

Originally Posted by stagestop
Certainly I do not want to oversell any treatment modality.

Mmmm.

Thanks again for your input Stage. You evidently have considerable knowledge of neurotransmitters, which I am finding fascinating.

Anyone with long term neurological or endocrine issues is more likely to be vulnerable to suggestions that their problems are easily fixed and that some simple natural product can replace their medication. With knowledge on this subject it is easy to fall between the stools of guru and snake oil salesman, without intending to. People will want to believe what they are told.

I believe you are just trying to use your knowledge to help others here, but please encourage people to look at the negatives as well as the positives and use your knowledge constructively and responsibly. Thanks.

Originally Posted by mgus

This smacks of conspiration theories, that the advocated way of treating depression etc is ruled by what companies can sell. I’m not in research myself, but I am close to some who are, and rest assured that there are lot’s of people in the world that have a very critical way at looking at things. If medicine companies could make a medicine that took away scurvy, so that one wouldn’t have to eat vitamin C in order to be well - do you really think doctors would recommend the anti-scurvy medicine only, and totally ignore the alternative of eating well?

That’s just silly.

There is in fact a problem with the use of non-patentable drugs in the traditional medical community. One example is niacin, which is the best known substance for raising hdl cholesterol. It also manages ldl and triglycerides, but is rarely used by doctors. One reason for this is the overwhelming information they get from pharmaceutical companies to use their products, mainly statin drugs (which work very well, thankfully).

But the most interesting thing about niacin is that it is practically the only way known to reduce a blood lipoprotein called Lp(a) or lipoprotein “little” a.

You never heard of that did you? Well, there is plenty of research and medical evidence that shows Lp(a) to be atherogenic and risk factor for cardiovascular disease. If you ask most doctors to be tested for it, they will not know what you are talking about, or tell you you don’t need to worry about it.

One day, a pharmaceutical company will finally figure out a good drug to use to lower Lp(a) levels. At that point, you will hear about it, everyone will be tested for it, and those with high Lp(a) will be treated. People will believe it is due to new medical knowledge, but the interest will actually be due to marketing of a new drug. You watch.

Thankfully, I have a very progressive and knowledgeable lipidemiologist, who took the time to figure out why so many in my family died so young, and found my Lp(a) level to be through the roof. I am treating it with niacin.


Horny Bastard

I think Stagestop’s information is enlightening and enjoyable, and although the warnings against giving medical advice on this forum, by anyone, is justifiable, lets not squash the discussion by being too critical.

My problem is this:

In the natural cure community, there is a problem which is sometimes a simple mistake, and sometimes a purposful trick used for marketing, and that is the use of logic instead of evidence.

Those who believe in natural remedies, usually can tell you all the reasons why they work, or should work, but rarely have good scientific evidence that they do work.

The mainstream medical community uses evidence of double blind placebo controlled trials to decide what treatments to use. Logic is left for those who determine good areas for research or to form hypotheses that need to be tested.

In the case of 5-HTP, from what I have read, it has been shown to be better than placebo, in some studies, for treating depression. That’s evidence.

5-HTP converts to Serotonin in the body, and Paxil increases Serotonin in the body by inhibiting reuptake, so therefore 5-HTP can be used to replace Paxil. That is logic, not evidence. What is missing is data to show how effective, and how safe, that substitution would be.

I’ll tell you my experience with 5-HTP. I have taken it for some time hoping to have a little bit of an orgasm delaying effect from it, and I have noticed no change. People on this board who have tried Paxil very consistently report very dramatic effects on their ability to orgasm. From this anecdotal evidence, I conclude that 5-HTP does not do the same thing as Paxil.


Horny Bastard


Last edited by mravg : 03-03-2007 at . Reason: spelling

In case anyone did not catch this, from ParaGoomba’s article quoted by Stagestop:

Quote
Paroxetine treated patients experienced significantly more cognitive failures (P = 0.007), poorer quality of sleep (P = 0.016), and an increase in depressive symptoms, ….. compared to some or all of the other drugs. All changes were reversed on reinstatement of treatment. Abrupt discontinuation of treatment with paroxetine leads to deterioration in various aspects of health and functioning, which may be related to the antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. These effects are not evident in patients receiving fluoxetine, sertraline and citalopram, suggesting they are not an SSRI class phenomenon.

In other words, 4 SSRI’s were studied, and Paxil (Paroxetine) was shown to be the worst offender for negative effects upon abrupt discontinuation. The problem was not found in the other 3 drugs (which are Prozac, Zoloft, and Celexa).

Kitten is taking Paxil.


Horny Bastard

I do agree that it is more “believable” if you suggest treating a condition with a tested medicine rather than something over the counter. And I do believe that it is likely a problem that drug companies sponsor conferences etc, materials sent out to doctors - much as if McDonalds wrote home education school books. I’ve heard it’s a problem here too, in fact I believe the stateowned hospitals at one point stopped doctors from going to certain conferences because they were considered advertisement rather than information.

But it’s also so that the wealth of information in the medical world is just immense - there is constantly new research being published. I have no possibility to keep up in my field, or rather if I did I wouldn’t have time to work… Also it takes time for things to sift throught the community - up until just a few years ago you could still hear people claim that autism was a result of lack of care and love from the mother. You can imagine the amount of anguish that theory has caused, but it’s been “well known” that this is rubbish for decades - yet some doctors refer to what was in their textbooks during their study years. Fibromyalgia is another example where it seemed that doctors were educated through the newspapers rather than on their own.

I don’t know how long one has been doing research on 5-HTP or niacin. These things usually don’t go that fast - at least not unless there is a major company with a large advertising budget. Except a recent example - omega3 made the headlines in Sweden and became common knowledge recently, along with a couple of TV-shows with names like “Smart from fish?”.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

Edit to the above post: I am not in the medical field.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

My dear old grandmother suffered from Parkinsons. That disease is due to lack of dopamine in certain areas of the brain (other areas are OK) and the common (or at least what used to be used while she was alive) was to have people eat dopamine (or if it was something that converted to dopamine/stimulated production) and thus the levels were raised overall. Problem with that approach is that it is very effective - against the cramps - once you get the levels just right but since the levels are raised overall there is too much dopamine in other areas, and so you might wind up with problems from that (such as schizoid delusions).

Here’s my question - it is very clear that one should avoid 5-HTP when eating certain medicines, such as SSRIs, since you wind up having too much Serotonin + reuptake inhibition may well lead to Serotonin syndrome (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsSuppl…phan5HTPcs.html). Now what happens if you eat 5-HTP and just plain eat too much, and wind up with an excess of Serotonin in your body? Is it really certain that this will not be risky? I get the impression from one of Stagestop’s posts above that it is riskfree to eat 5-HTP, that one can’t overdose, and that just doesn’t seem logical (logic, not evidence).


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

IBS by the way, is treatable by other means than 5-HTP - I had IBS problems for a couple of years that progressively got worse, to the point that I had a hard time working due to gases and cramps and such. Stomach pain is really difficult mentally when you are trying to concentrate (I guess all pain is). I’d tried various fiber supplements, didn’t help. What helped to a certain amount was Inolaxol, a granulate made from gummi arabicum, a kind of natural rubber extract (also used in watercolors, to bind the pigment) - I guess this is akin to “fake mucus”. In time the effect of that wore off and I was getting kind of desperate. I came in contact with an aquaintance of my a relative, she was a doctor from China - she had studied western medicine and was working on her doctoral thesis on the subject of allergic reactions. Very scientific stuff, no homepathic ideas at all. She had, however, studied a semester or two of traditional Chinese medicine - I am under the impression that it is mandatory also at the western medicine schools - and she said she’d look up my condition. So she consulted her old textbooks, called some friends etc and then treated me with acupuncture. I had about 10 sessions or so, and after number 5-6 or so I started feeling better. In about three months or so I was back to how I’d been before this all started.

It might well be that acupuncture is akin to Ctrl+Alt+Del to the nervous system - not entirely unlikely, since we are all digital anyway. And that this treatment reset receptors in me, or what ever. But since I do suffer from dystymia / mild depression it is not unbelievable that I have a problem with Serotonin in general.

What I just wanted to point out is that however the treatment worked, I did not eat 5-HTP and got better.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

What an interesting thread. Makes me think of a question if someone with experience with 5HTP would care to answer. I don’t think this is a hijack since 5HTP is the topic of this thread. There seems to be some real knowledge of this supplement here so hopefully someone will know my answer.

A little background for those not already familiar. Discovered PE by accident while doing penis health exercises due to impotence. Saw it was getting bigger and thought “what the hell is going on?” Found Thunder’s place and am still growing.

Due to lack of sensitivity (most often) and occasional hypersensitivity (either painful or feeling too good - totally unpredictable…damn CNS) sex with my wife is mostly emotional rather than physical (the physical acts happen but the enjoyment comes from the pleasure of being together). I can manually create erections now, often get them the “usual” way too.

Problem, because it is such an emotional involvement rather than as much physical sensations, combined with the kegeling to get more blood in and improve orgasm abilities, there is now a tendancy to become a little too excited - bringing things to a sudden, unexpected, unwanted end. No problem, we just move on to other things. But, I would like to be able to reliably last longer.

My doc was wanting to give me paxil anyway because she thinks I’m depressed. She says that someone that’s been through what I have and lives with chronic neurogenic pain all day every day is going to be depressed. She says the primary symptom is the total lack of interest in some of the things that I used to totally love.

She also says the paxil would improve my sleep and better sleep means more GH production = more success in my bodybuilding and strength efforts. She’s also quite surprised by my PE results and said more sleep might actually help with the impossible thing I’ve done with my penis. The other benefit she says the paxil would give is delayed ejaculation and as she put it, “what man doesn’t want to last longer?”

I’m not going to take her up on her offer of paxil but have been thinking about 5HTP anyway simply as an aid to better, deeper sleep.

Now after all of that finally the question. I’m curious, taking into consideration that for me at least ejaculation comes primarily from an emotional response, would the 5HTP possibly help to delay that too?

Either way, I’m giving it some serious though as a sleep aid. But would still like to hear responses about 5HTP and delayed ejaculation.

Thanks.

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