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Oxytriptan, also known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP for short, has been used as a natural supplement since the 1970’s. [1] 5-HTP has been approved by the FDA. [2]

Benefits and Effects

Studies on depression, anxiety, eating disorders, ADHD, and autism also show benefits of 5-HTP. [3]

Chronic headaches and Migraines

5-HTP helps with headache pain and can keep recurring headaches from returning. 5-HTP supplements might be a good alternative for other headache medications. [4][5][6]


5-HTP reduces the pain, tenderness, anxiety, and fatigue that is caused by fibromyalgia. [7][8]


5-HTP may treat autism’s sleep and behaviour problems by increasing melatonin. Other are unknown. [9][10]


When used with other nootropics, 5-HTP can be used to treat depression and improve mood. [11] 5-HTP has no proven effect on people who do not respond to re-uptake inhibitors. [12]

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

5-HTP can be used to calm anxiety symptoms but, because of how complex the serotonin system is, 5-HTP should be used with some caution and under medical advice. [13][14]

Muscle Spasms

5-HTP replenishes the serotonin in these muscles and can help calm muscle spasms. [15]


By increasing serotonin, 5-HTP helped people with clinical obesity feel full faster, eat less, and lose a healthy amount of weight in some small studies. [16][17][18][19]

How 5-HTP Works

5-hydroxytryptophan helps the body by allowing more serotonin to be made. This increases the levels of serotonin in the brain, potentially easing some of these symptoms. [20]


5-HTP is taken by mouth. Usually, a 100mg dose, twice daily may be taken with meals or on its own.

Doses as high as 400mg daily for up to a year are considered safe.

If you are thinking of taking 5-HTP, or have been taking it for 12 weeks or longer, seek the advice of a medical professional. [21]

Side Effects

Excessive 5-HTP can cause nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, and stomach pains. [2]

5-HTP use does not make anxiety or depression worse, but might not be effective for some people. [22] When used to treat depression, 5-HTP is considered to be relatively safe and free of serious side effects. [23]

5-HTP Drug Interactions

5-HTP interacts with drugs or supplements that affect serotonin, potentially unbalancing the serotonin levels in the brain. Other drugs that should be avoided include Phenelzine (Nardil) and Trancypromine (Parnate.)

Be careful when taking 5-HTP with Carbidopa, Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM,) Meperidine (Demerol,) Pentazocine (Taluin,) Tramadol (Ultran,) or other sedatives. These can increase the risks of potential side effects. [1]

Adderall with 5-HTP also needs to be used with caution.


You can take Caribidopa and L-Tyrosine together with 5-HTP to help prevent levels of dopamine, another important brain chemical, from going too far down.

D-phenylamine, lecithin, L-theanine, L-glutamine, and GABA can be taken with 5-HTP for improved effects. [24][25]

Additional information

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    1. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/794.html
    2. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/1947955
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3536521
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1521674
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/307546
    6. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03980.x
    7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/307522
    8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3265988
    9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3933601
    10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3312397
    11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3157732
    12. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ana.410070611
    13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2468734
    14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22142813
    15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1722953
    16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22684569
    17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22397264
    18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/233794
    19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16416445
    20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15068828
    21. http://www.nemsn.org/Articles/FDA-Info.pdf
    22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7699627
    23. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/1087383
    24. https://www.clinmedjournals.org/articles/ijnn/international-journal-of-neurology-and-neurotherapy-ijnn-3-061.php?jid=ijnn
    25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21183371
Also known as:5-Hydroxytryptophan, Oxitriptan
Type:Serotonin Supplement
Good for: , , , ,
Stacks well with: L-Theanine,Adrafinil,NALT,GABA
Typical dose:100mg twice daily
Half Life :Variable