Anyone tried 5-HTP?

I have been thinking recently that I may have a serotonin deficiency as I fit many of the symptoms for that and it can also be at the root of migraine for some people I believe. I read that the supplement 5-HTP can boost serotonin and I wondered if anyone here has had any success with it and, if so, at what dose?

I am currently taking Nortriptyline for migraine prevention and I wondered if anyone knows if it is safe to take 5-HTP with Nortriptyline as I have read warnings about developing Serotonin Syndrome if you take a combination of serotonin affecting medications at the same time.

Hi Jem

I tried 5HTP a few years ago for about 12 months. I think it did help but as I took it along with a plethora of other stuff it’s difficult to wax too lyrical about its benefits. But on balance, although my memory is a bit hazy now yes, I think it was a part of the mix that helped me over the worst back then. I’d have to look it up to be sure but I think I took 100mg per day, which I think was a fairly big dose and I think I had to take it with some ‘good’ carbohydrate like say an apple. Can’t recall why though now! I’ll see if I can find my diaries from way back and look it up more specifically and I’ll get back to you.


Jem, it was 100mg I took. I can see from my notes that I was advised to take it at lunchtime and have it with carbohydrate only. I used to eat an appple with it. Can’t remember why that time of day and I know lots of folk take it at night time or maybe even split the dose.


Thanks Brenda. I will get some and give it a go then. It will give me some idea of whether serotonin is a factor in my MAV. Thanks x

Brenda, just wanted to ask if you were taking any antidepressant medication with the 5-HTP, ie like nori or ami?

Also, did you just stop taking it at some point because it didn’t help anymore?

Thanks x

No Jem, I wasn’t taking any antidepressant at the time, just other various supplements. Someone suggested 5HTP because they thought it might just help me generally cope better with MAV with all the stress and anxiety involved in that.

I stopped taking it for financial reasons really. I’d taken it for quite a while, had a better handle on my symptoms and wondered if I could do without it. Turned out I could. I began to run out as I was wondering how I’d do without it and as the days went on and I felt OK I never bought anymore. I’m pretty sure I tapered it though rather than just stopping suddenly… didn’t want to upset my delicate migraine brain too much!