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Discussion Starter #1
Hi has any one used 5-HTP for help with sleep/stress/fibromyalgia and seen any results.

I have read quite a lot about this and it seems to help fibromyalgia pain after about 3 weeks of use.

Due to the "cocktail" of drugs Im on, I consulted with a company that makes this and they referred me to their nutritionist doctor who is qualified gp too and he said I could start this as a dose of 50mg per night.

I just wondered whether anyone else had used this alternative seratone treatment and got any results?

Thanks

hugs to you all

Julia
 

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Hi Julia,

I have not taken it so can't comment from first hand knowledge. However with any new supplement or treatment we undergo it's vital to run it by your Rheumatologist first to see how they think it would affect you and the other meds you are on.

I found one site (they sell it) that even mentioned someone with lupus should run it by their own doc first. So speaking to the company who sells it and talking to 'their' GP (if he was a GP - you have no way of knowing that) is not the same as that.

You will only read their claims of how good it is on a site selling it. :wink2: I assume you have read lots of those, so here's some that balance out the idea a little for you to read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-HTP

Risks and Side Effects
5-HTP raises blood serotonin levels, and because of the risks associated with elevated levels it should only be taken under the advice of a medical professional (See Chronic diseases resulting from serotonin 5-HT2B overstimulation). For instance, elevated blood serotonin levels are associated with cardiac valve failure and acute or chronic pulmonary hypertension.
Comprehensive clinical data on other side-effects of 5-HTP are not available. Nevertheless, some product marketers claim that it causes fewer side effects than traditional antidepressants. The basis for these claims are anecdotal and have not been verified scientifically. Side effects of 5-HTP may include nausea, constipation, gas, drowsiness, decreased sex drive, anxiety, numbness, paresthesia, breathing problems, palpitations, chest pain, hallucinations and insomnia. 5-HTP can also have adverse interactions with other natural and traditional drugs.
Why the FDA banned Tryptophan which synthesises into 5HTP:

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/trypto.html



Hope this helps.

love
Lily
 

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Hi Julia, I also have fibro and suffered so much with the flu like pains all over my body, the anxiety, the fatigue and headaches. I have benefited tremendously with accupuncture and especially fish oil in capsule form. I take two daily at 1000 mg each, make sure it's omega-3 EPA/DHA and free of mercury, lead and PCB's. It takes about 1 to 2 months to feel the effects but I can I definitely feel the effects!!! It's amazing for aches, stress, and your joints! I almost started to take 5-HTP but have found that this route was effective. A woman with knowledge in homeopathy suggested this to me so I hope this helps in making your decision. Good luck!!
 

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I sometimes use a herbal sleeping med which has 5-HTP in it, and it is really useful. It also has all the regular herbal stuff for sleep (passion flower etc) so who knows which part of it is working, but I must say that the one with 5-HTP in it has been the best one I have used.

I don't have fibro, so I have no idea if it helps with that, but I do know that the standard fibro meds like amitryptaline is an awful lot cheaper ! So I think I would try the standard stuff first unless you have a particular objection to it.

The other thing with fibro is that you need something that will promote the correct levels of sleep, rather than just being a sedative - again I have no idea if 5-HTP does this.

but, I do love my herbal sleeping meds when sleep is elusive

I ran this by my doc (my neuropsychiatrist from memory) who was quite comfortable with me taking it.

hth

raglet
 

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Discussion Starter #5
HI all

Thank you very much for all your replies which I have read thru thoroughly.

The reason I wanted to try 5-HTP was because I was originally on high doses of clonazepam, amytriptyline and morphine all at the same time and I have a very adverse response in that it altered my personality. I am lucky that I was weaned off these drugs by St Thomas' Input Pain Management Unit and would never ever contemplate going back on them again. The side effects were totally horrendous for me and it was only my family that noticed the difference and consulted with drs to get me off them all. Im only saying this as it relates to me and everyone is, of course, different.

The company I use is used by other members of my family and it is a small company based quite locally to me. My mum and I did our independent research through nutrition and other health books, not thru the published material from marketing health companies. They work with a well known nutritionist who often publishes in the major mags and newspapers and it is he who they consulted, so Im quite happy with the information they have given me.

Thank you, however, for the information Lily. It made interesting reading and I have certainly taken note of it.

Thank you all once again.

Hugs to you all

Julia
 

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Let us know how it goes for you Julia :)

That combo of drugs you were on would be enough to get anyone in a state if they were high doses :eek:

What symptom/symptoms exactly is it you are trying to treat with the 5HTP?

love
Lily
 

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Julia,

I use a topical gel for my shoulders when the Fibro pain gets really bad. I don't know if it is available in the UK or not. It is called Bio-freeze and I ordered mine through Amazon. The main ingredient is "Natural Menthol". I have also tried another spray product that had camphor as its main ingredient it helped some but not as well as the Bio-freeze. I have also used in the past a product called Zostrix which heats things up. The main ingredient in that cream is capsaicin. Currently it irritates my skin so I am not going to use it for at least 6 months. None of these products have tylenol or asprin or any anti-inflammatories. I imagine that you have similar products in the UK. I think your market for herbal "medicines" is better controlled than ours here in the USA, but I don't think these products would be ruled out.

My pain managment nurse practioner recomended using both a heat up and cool down ointment together and I did that with good success on my feet for a period of time. At the moment I use just the Bio-freeze when necessary.

Can you call the Lupus Nurse at St. Thomas regarding the 5-HTP before you start using it?

Take care,
Karen
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi all!

Thanks once again for your replies.

I was looking to use 5-htp to help my sleep pattern and fibromyalgia pains and to help with a bit of depression I seem to have (hardly surprising since Im in a major flare up). I dont tollerate anti-depressants very well and dont want to go back on them so my gp arranged counselling in December but Im still waiting to go.

In desperation I am taking 1-2mg lorazepam at night because when I take tramadol as night it seems to keep me awake and I just lie there all night watching the clock as I cant get up cos my joints are really bad.

Does anyone have any ideas what may help please?

Hugs to you all!

Julia
 

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I've never tried 5-HTP but to help my fibromyalgic symptoms (I get the fibro tender spots and sometimes sleep disturbance in addition to having other lupus symptoms) I try gentle exercise to help promote a good a nights sleep as possible and fight off depression (yoga & swimming help me)

It may be worth seeing if you can get refered to an occupational or physical therapist to come up with a programme that is suitable for you.

I also try to get into a routine of sleep whereby I allow myself 10-12 hours of sleep but no more, and if I need day naps I limit them to 20-30 mins maximum. (lupus/fibro makes me constantly fatigued and once asleep I could easily sleep 15+ hrs a night/day if I allowed myself but sleeping too much or allowing self to sleep more than 12hrs at a time does not help me)

I sometimes struggle getting to sleep at "normal bedtime". To help get off to sleep I use hot milky drinks before bedtime, warm baths with Lavender aromatherapy oils, and occasionally resort to using herbal sleep remedies (in UK superdrug store have one called "quiet night" which usually works for me

These web sites may also be of help
http://www.ukfibromyalgia.com/support_pages/support-frames.html
http://www.fibromyalgia-associationuk.org/index.php
 

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Hi Julia,

Wheeliefab has given you some good advice. I don't have Fibro thankfully but do suffer from depression and also have a lot of peripheral neuropathy and just general lupus muscle and joint pain. It's been a combo of meds that's taken some time to help get all that to a tolerable level. Even then when I flare I have extra pain meds like Codeine to help me get a decent sleep.

Sleep pattern is very important for all of us. Like Wheelie, if you can get your daytime pain to a tolerable level that enables you to do some form of exercise within your limits, it does help tire you out. I try to have a standard sort of bedtime and I also have a warm milky type drink prior to bed (the tryptophan) in it helps they say. After lunch I avoid all caffeine drinks, tea, coffee, cola etc. If I wake up and it's not from pain I usually get up go to loo have a few sips of water and try again. If I dont get up I usually just lie there and contemplate my lack of sleep :sad: and how awful I am going to feel the next day.

When you tried ami what dosages were they? For Fibro they usually use a very low dose at bedtime. If that doesnt work and the morning grogginess doesnt wear off in 4 weeks then they will try things like Cymbalta and then even move onto Lyrica etc.

If you really hate those drugs and how they have made you feel and you have a good pharmacist then there are sleep aids that are non prescription. But make sure the pharmacist knows your ailments and what other meds you take. Those things are a much gentler type of sleep aid, containing valerian etc. but even then they dont suit everyone, we often have bizarre reactions to some herbs.

love
Lily
 

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5-HTP has definitely helped with my sleep pattern. I don't have fibro, but I prefer 5-HTP (or Deep Sleep as the preparation I use is called) because I can take it as needed without ever having built up tolerance or having rebound sleeplessness or any of the other nasty problems that occur with traditional sleeping meds.

Here are the ingredients of the preparation I take (not everynight, just when I need to)

INGREDIENTS (per capsule):
Herbal extracts equivalent to dry: 5-HTP (1-5 hydroxytryptonphan standardised from Griffonia simplicifolia) Seeds 50mg, Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) Aerial Parts 750mg, Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Aerial Parts 750mg, Californian Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica) Aerial Parts 50mg, Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia piscipula) Root Nutrients: Magnesium Equiv. 42mg (oxide) 50mg, Vitamin B6 (Pyroxide Hydrochloride) 10mg.
http://www.shopnewzealand.co.nz/en/cp/Deep_Sleep_5HTP_Plus_Good_Health_30_Capsules

Lily is right, there was a problem with tryptophan - from memory (this was some years ago) it was about contamination, but 5HPT is thought to be free from contamination. The serotonin sydrome that can be caused by taking excessive amounts of 5HPT can also be caused by taking excessive amounts of SSRI antidepressants. I am on an SSRI and find no problem taking 5HPT - I am very sensitive to higher levels of serotonin and start getting serotonin dreams etc if my anti-d dose is raised, but taking 5HTP doesn't seem to be a problem for me.

just the way it works for me

hth

raglet

raglet
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi

Thanks again for all your info.

I will let you know how it goes with the 5-htp; hoping it will get me off the lorazepam at night.

Hugs to you all

Julia
 

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Good Luck with it Julia ! and please report back. It sounds interesting stuff.
I expect you know what it shouldn't be taken with as no doubt the compnay doctor checked what drugs you are already taking.

:)

Clare
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Clare

Thanks for your message.

Yes, they asked me to send them an up to date drug chart which I emailed them and they crossed referenced all the drugs Im on. Fortunately Im not any SSRIs which would be contra-indicated to using 5-htp when combined with the cocktail of drugs Im already on but I know people do get on ok with 5-htp and ssris too.

I have used it for 5 nights now, dropped the lorazepam, and although Im sleep wake every 2 hours or so, I do drop back off to sleep again; but then I do have a lot of sleep to catch up on after being in hospital last week!

I was advised that I should have a positive response in about 3 weeks so I will report back then.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me with this!

Hugs to all

Julia
 
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