Confused about 5HTP, is it effective / dangerous?

Hi all, I realise there are a lot of threads dating back many years that mention 5-HTP, but that mountain of information is partly why I am here. About 2 months ago, I bought a bunch from a health shop during a sale, having read about its potential benefits. But then a couple of days later I found a post on PH (posted below) that spooked me, so I just put it in a drawer and left it.

However, yesterday I then found myself down a PH hole (what I would give to go back to the days when I would spend my time down Wikipedia holes not PH holes) and found myself reading a bunch of positive reviews of 5-HTP. It seems like it could be effective against brain fog, depression and insomnia, and also penile shrinkage. Here’s an example of positive reports.

So it seems like 5HTP might only be really bad if combined with an SSRI, which I have none of so couldn’t create such a combo.

Basically, I am just hoping for a bit of up to date advice. I think I am going to get some GABA and combine 5HTP with it, as I have read that combo is particularly good for improving sleep.

So I took 50mg of 5-HTP last night and it is the first time in over 2 years that I have been able to sleep without the use of either indica weed or a combination of guided meditation and melatonin to get to sleep. I did still use melatonin, but usually I need to listen to guided meditation to stop my mind jumping around when only using that.

The 5-HTP supp I have also includes 5mg Niacin and 5mg B6 per 50mg 5HTP.

I did take it in combination with melatonin (2mg), as well as my most recent usual night supps of fish oil (1000mg), dopa macuna pruriens (350mg, 15% l-dopa), l-theanine (200mg) and a cbd (10mg w/ valerian) tablet. However, these together with the absence of weed have never been enough to get me to sleep without guided meditation.

Around March time I was following a strict diet regime, and taking melatonin and using guided mediation for sleep, and I was getting about 6 or 7 hours per night, but very light sleep full of incredibly vivid dreams, so I don’t think I was getting deep restorative sleep. I can’t say I feel fully refreshed today, and I woke up two or three times during the night, but I did seem to get some decent rest.

Will certainly try again tonight. Just wondering if I should also take a daytime dosage.


Stop on 50mg. You risk serotoninergic syndrome

I think it’s best to avoid serotenergic substances. After all serotonin causes delayed ejaculation, reduced genital sensitivity, reduced libido and docility.

50mg is one tablet, literally the lowest dose I can possibly acquire. It is dosed at up to 500mg for certain medical conditions. I think you got serotonine syndrome from adding it to an SSRI, a well publicised trigger for serotinine syndrome.

I think ill effects you got were not from 5-HTP alone, but from combining it with an SSRI. Because I see you warning people off of 5-HTP in other threads with no mention of that fact. Just because you were taking the SSRI with no ill effects before 5-HTP does not make it the sole fault of 5-HTP. I think it was the combination that screwed you. And you were on 200mg 5-HTP plus your SSRI.

If I develop any symptoms related to serotonin syndrome, I will of course end usage. I also have no intention of taking it continuously.

First, PFS has given me premature ejaculation, so somewhat delaying it would not necessarily be a negative. Second, 5HTP has been linked to increased sexual function as well as decreased. However, those negative sides you are referring to are related to MASSIVE doses. Not trying to be a a-hole here, I am very happy and keen to read any material you have saying otherwise. Please provide links to reputable sources if you have any.

All that said, my intention is to take it for a week, then have at least a week off.

Just to follow up, last night I took 50mg again, along with the same aforementioned supps. Once again I got to sleep without guided meditation. I woke up around every 2 to 3 hours, but then got back to sleep relatively easy (even before PFS, waking up in the night could spell no more sleep or hours awake for me). I am assuming that I was waking up at the end of a sleep cycle each time. Either way, I think I got around 7.5 or 8 hours sleep in total.

I then took 50mg during the day today and felt absolutely incredible (though I do think that the bulletproof coffee I also drank might have something to do with quite how energetic and positive and just generally amazing I was feeling today).

I have taken 50mg again tonight. I am thinking I might not take another daytime dosage tomorrow, or may just have a break all together tomorrow. Either way, it is not my intention to take this continuously, but rather to cycle it to some extent if I do continue to take it. I am wary of the warnings, but if this is making me feel good and helping me to sleep, then I am inclined to continue. I do not think 100mg per day, taken in 50mg doses 12 hours apart is a wild dosage, based on what I have read about it. But I also don’t want to get carried away.

Always happy for contradictory feedback, but please do accompany it with some links so I can do some reading for myself. And if you do have a personal anecdote about using 5HTP, please mention what else you were taking at the same time, because that is very important.

Also anecdotally, I took Rhodiola and I had anxiety for a week. Strong feeling of unease in my solar plexus region. Worst feeling of my life.

1 Like

5htp is a mine field. And generally serotonin inhibit sexual behaviour. I had a bad experience with 5htp. In the morning I felt like I was drinking all night.

The fact that serotonin induces an increase in the emission of prolactin is very interesting.

1 Like

We are all different people so what works for someone may not work for another. If it’s working for you, then awesome! You know your body best so listen to it. If it’s working, then it’s a good match for you. There are tons of 5-HTP reviews where people said it worked wonders.

1 Like

Just to say, I did not mean to be overly aggressive or combative with you @Rb26dett . We are all in this together and I am absolutely not looking for arguments or ill-feeling through my participation on PH. I am very sorry for everything that you and anyone else who has ended up here is going through, so if my earlier posts didn’t give that impression, I do apologise.

So now for the update (some good, some not so good). I have taken 50mg of 5htp at 10pm for the past four nights (Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri), as well as at 10am on Thursday and Friday. I am writing this on Saturday afternoon, having not taken a daytime dose today, for future readers.

I got very satisfying sleep on Tues and Weds, waking up between sleep cycles, but getting back to sleep with ease, and I also felt incredible when I took it on Thursday daytime. Very positive, singing to myself all day, lots of energy, work went fast and well. However, my body temperature was also quite high (everyone in my office was in at least a sweater and I was sitting in a t-shirt), I felt like my heart was beating a little faster or harder (I took my pulse and it was normal) at times and I had a bit of an energy crash in the afternoon. I actually think that crash and the heart rate was also heavily related to caffeine as I had three coffees that day. Sleep on Thursday night was not so satisfying, I didn’t get to sleep quite as easily and when I woke around 6.30, I did not get back to sleep for the final cycle I had slept the nights before. Friday daytime I still took it again and a couple of hours later felt quite a high body temperature and faster heart rate, as well as some elevated underarm odor and edginess. I felt like I was having adverse effects, though I also think that some paranoia I had after popping the tablet (based on the warnings here) probably contributed to my feeling. And again, this seemed to come on most after drinking a bulletproof coffee. By the mid afternoon I was feeling much better and more positive, so I do think that the combination of 5htp and caffeine is not ideal. Last night (Friday) I got better sleep than Thursday (in part I think because the worse night of rest the night before meant I went to bed pretty tired) but still woke up earlier than I would like.

So there is definitely some rough and smooth with this. It certainly seems that the daytime dosage contributed to the nighttime dosage not having the same beneficial effect, meaning I am likely to only pursue this as a sleep aid going forward, if I do continue. I have decided to take a few days off of it.

However, something I did not mention before is that it does seem to have resulted in some pretty impressive gains in terms of nocturnal erections and morning wood. I took a cialis on Monday (I don’t take it regularly, but while sorting through some supps just popped one, because I think it is good to take cialis / viagra every now and then to get the blood flowing down there). So when I noticed some increased activity on Wednesday morning (not a full erection, but engorged with blood unlike I am used to these days) I didn’t want to attribute it to the 5HTP, in case it was due to the cialis. However, that morning activity has continued, and in fact got better and better each morning. In my experience with cialis, it lasts two days, so I am well clear of that now. And this morning I actually had morning wood to the extent that even after I got up to pee, it persisted, and I masturbated twice within the space of about half an hour this morning (like old times), producing more than my new standard dribble of semen, too. So that is EXTREMELY positive.

However, I do feel like my heart is beating a little harder and faster (though, I also feel like this could be me being ultra sensitive, seeking out adverse side effects – certainly my pulse remains very normal).

Either way, I have resolved to take a little break from it for a few days. I was intending to start a two week tribulus cycle on Monday, so I might even wait till after that. If/when I do return to use, I think I will stick with just 50mg at night, and likely every other night to begin with, and see if I can get back that very nice sleep I had on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I think that 25/50mg 5 days per week, can help some of us.
I know that 5-htp made me crash, but i was taking it on 200mg, immediatly after stop Paroxetine.

1 Like

I might actually try to cut my pills and only have 25mg, to see. But they are capsules, so it is going to be messy.

Just another update (some graphic masturbation stuff, in case you don’t like that)

I did not take 5htp at all yesterday (Saturday) day or evening or today (Sunday). I did massively fall off the wagon in terms of the lifestyle I have been following, eating processed meat in buns and drinking numerous beers (probably about 5 pints in total between 8pm and 1am) at a hockey game and subsequent bar afterwards, followed by chicken burger, fries and chicken nuggets at a well known fast food joint. All shit that I should not be putting into my body, given I am certainly now gluten intolerant. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful and had to make myself sick and my bowel movements have been uncomfortable and indicative of gut inflammation today.

However, I woke up feeling not actually that bad, a bit ropey as would be expected from drinking., but not on death’s door. It must also be said, I felt pretty damned good at the time. I have been used to drinking a beer or two every now and then (last night is the first time in about 3 months), realising it was not doing me good (and also not really getting me drunk properly) and stopping at one or two with regret for even drinking that. But last night I was loving it, getting very vocal at the game, absolutely smashing it at karaoke in the bar afterwards. A great night overall.

Then this morning, while I didn’t have morning wood and actually initially thought I couldn’t get it up (I have basically got myself to the point that I have convinced myself of that), I then found myself able to get it up fantasizing about this hot girl I met years back and used to fantasize about pre-PFS, but who couldn’t inspire much more than a semi- since. So I masturbated and produced a much greater volume of semen and forceful ejaculation than I have become used to (even though I did the same yesterday), and I just masturbated again and had a really great orgasm and actually drifted into that semi conscious state that finishing always used to bring.

Now I remember reading the post below about feeling better after drinking alcohol due to inhibited prolacitin, so I want to keep that on the table as having contributed to this today, but I cant help feeling that what I have experienced (enjoyable drunkenness, improved sexual function over two days) MUST have something to do with the 5HTP. I am starting a tribulus cycle on Tuesday (I have decided to do a two day water fast today and tomorrow after last night’s excesses – I was overdue my regular monthly one), and I do not intend to be doing 5HTP and tribulus together. But I am now wondering whether to try one more 5HTP dose tonight, to see if I can get that same nice sleep again like last Tuesday and Wednesday, or maybe to try splitting the capsule and taking just 25mg.

Strongguy has provided some very good information on why 5HTP might be unwise, and I was inclined to avoid it for now, but these improvements over recent days make me feel like I am onto something promising.

1 Like

I chose not to go with that 5HTP dose last night and I am glad of it, because not only did I sleep fine, but I was feeling kind of edgy and restless today, I couldn’t focus on studying, my eyesight was worse than normal.

Now, bearing in mind I was on day two of a water fast, that likely had something to do with it, as well as the alcohol from Saturday given that I have not eaten since the fast food. So I am confused as to what is going on and not keen to take more 5HTP in case it makes me feel worse (plus, I wanted to see how easy I can sleep tonight). On the one hand I seem to have seen some significant sexual improvement, while on the other I have symptoms like edginess, restlessness and high body temperature, which I have had in the past and are not very enjoyable and quite unproductive.

While I could not figure out if these symptoms are those of high serotonin, high prolactin, or high estrogen, or what, I decided to get some B6 (a known prolactin suppressant) and see if it made me feel better. I took it, on an empty stomach as I was still fasting, and did not notice a big difference within about two hours. If anything I felt like I was a bit worse, although that could also be because I was attempting to study, which is when I feel the worst in all cases, and I am sure a part of that is through anxiety related to fear of failure in my studies due to PFS. Then I took some gingko biloba and although I initially didn’t feel much better, I went in for my half day at work and, after a small black unsweetened coffee I should add, started feeling really good and actually equalled my daily target record in half a day. Again this has left me confused as I haven’t given myself the chance to know what is causing the positive effects, although I am pretty sure that the dopamine from coffee and the generally positive effects gingko has were most significant. I am going to use them both again tomorrow.

I should also add, in the morning I took zenflore, a probiotic that has given me consistent positive mental results, as well as dopa macuna, fish oil, a double dose of vitamin D (I had misplaced my bottle so hadn’t taken any in a few days) and lutein & zeaxanthin (for eyesight). Though I did not notice any particularly positive effects until a couple of hours after taking the gingko and drinking the coffee.

Not particularly enlightening because of the confusing array of supps, I know, but I figure I should chart what I am doing on this little 5HTP run.

1 Like

Good feedback man. Any impact to your muscles such as twitching or aches? Did it impact digestion?

How have you been getting on with 5htp? It’s been in one of my sleep aids so I have been using it for the last month or so and so far it’s been pretty good

Sounds like it works for you! I took four doses (50Mgs each) over 4 days and it immediately did not work for me. Again it really depends on the person. It might be a good match for you my friend.

It has complex actions, including raising dopamine (e.g. the striatum can use it as an alternative to dopamine I think), and of course acts also on serotonin receptors. Actually I’ve always found it pro-sexual temporarily, but the positive effect becomes downregulated and the less desirable serotonin effects become more noticeable. It varies a bit.