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Herbal Supplements

What medications can interact with 5-htp?

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  • ANatalie E. Azar, MD, Rheumatology, answered
    What medications can interact with 5-htp?
    Certain medications can interact with 5-HTP, most often prescription anti-depressants and pain medications that raise serotonin levels. Watch rheumatologist Natalie Azar, MD, explain why 5-HTP can be dangerous if you are taking these medications. 
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  • Note: 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin; thus, it may interact with agents that modulate levels of serotonin.

    5-HTP may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that lower blood pressure.

    5-HTP may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased or decreased in the blood, and may cause increased or decreased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.

    5-HTP may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.

    5-HTP may interact with angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor blockers (ARBs), antianxiety agents (such as buspirone and trazodone), anticancer agents, antidepressants (including monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs] such as L-deprenyl, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs], serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors [SNRIs] such as venlafaxine, tetracyclics such as mirtazapine, or tricyclics [TCAs]), anti-inflammatories, antiobesity agents (such as phentermine), antiseizure agents, antipsychotic agents (such as haloperidol), barbiturates (such as pentobarbital), benzodiazepines, benzylpiperazine, cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol), cholesterol-lowering agents, CNS depressants, decarboxylase inhibitors (such as carbidopa and benserazide), diltiazem, drugs that lower seizure threshold, growth hormones, hormonal agents, lithium carbonate, losartan, methamphetamine, metoclopramide, painkillers, sedatives, serotonin receptor antagonists (such as methysergide, nefazodone, cyproheptadine, and ritanserin), or thyroid hormones.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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