RSS5HTP vs. Prozac for depression.

Posted on Tue, 24 Sep 13

5HTP vs. Prozac for depression.

In a new study the dietary supplement 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5HTP) and fluoxetine (Prozac) showed significant and nearly equal reduction in depression within two weeks.

This is the first clinical study of 5HTP in decades. Research into this nutrient stopped around the same time the first anti-depressant drugs were patented. 5HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid used to make the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.

Both treatment groups showed significant and nearly equal reduction in depression scores within two weeks of treatment and continuing through week eight. Twenty-two patients (73.33%) in the 5-HTP group and 24 patients (80%) in the fluoxetine group showed positive response at the end of the study.

The dose of 5HTP capsules was 150 mg in three divided dosages during the first 2 weeks and then the dose was doubled (300 mg) after the second week. The dosages were increased to 400 mg in three divided dosages after the fourth week.

A total of 14 patients (46.7%) in those taking 5HTP and 18 patients taking fluoxetine (60%) reported adverse effects. The most common adverse effects in the 5HTP group were nausea, anorexia, headache; in the fluoxetine group nausea, anorexia, headache and insomnia predominated.

The therapeutic efficacy of 5HTP was considered equal to that of fluoxetine. Hopefully this study stimulates more research into 5HTP.


Jangid P, Malik P, Singh P, Sharma M, Gulia AK. Comparative study of efficacy  of l-5-hydroxytryptophan and fluoxetine in patients presenting with first depressive episode. Asian J Psychiatr. 2013 Feb;6(1):29-34.

Tags: Depression, Mood, 5HTP, Tryptophan

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