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What should seniors know before taking tryptophan?

Before taking tryptophan (also called L-tryptophan), seniors should know that it can have severe, even life-threatening interactions with a number of drugs. These include antidepressants that work by boosting the effects of the neurotransmitter serotonin, such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and others. Drugs that can interact dangerously also include some used to relax you or help you sleep, to relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, or to prevent seizures, such as clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien) and others. Severe interactions are also considered possible for some painkillers, antipsychotics, and cough medicines. Seniors who take any prescription drug or any dietary supplement should check with their doctor before taking tryptophan.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.