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SSRI's vs 5 htp in Depression QUESTION

Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

SSRI's Verses 5htp and Tryptophan ques/HEADOC


Allright then

First bear with this post I have major issues with attention and comprehension so expect this post to be all over the place.

I have taken ssri's i.e. prozac and paxil with little success, i've also take wellbutrin which seems to work more on the noradrenaline system then the serotonin system. Also to no avail.

I have also takin remeron and it increased my appetite quite a bit seemed to work ok although i only stayed on it for about 6 weeks do to no insurance.

I'm contemplating taking Effexor due to the fact that it works as a ssri and a snri. Since effexor also works on Noradrenaline aka Norepinephrine it should help my concentration and comprehension levels as well.

I have been diagnosed with Major Depression back in 94 but convinced I've had it my whole life courtesy of my enviorment in early childhood.

My question is this, How does one know if they need a SSRI verses 5-htp or Tryptophan or St Johns wart.

As we know an ssri basically keeps the serotonin from going back from where it once came in general laymens terms.

5htp and tryptophan can cross the blood brain barrier enhancing serotonin levels.

SO is there anyway to know how much serotonin is in my brain in the first place? I'm thinking not but someone please enlighten me.

Reason i made that statement is because if i knew how much serotonin was in my brain i might be able to make a decision following a select protocol that being

A. try 5htp and tryptophan and perhaps st johns wart as they increase serotonin levels

B. Don't attempt to increase my own serotonin levels and use SSRi's exclusively

C. Try SSRI along with 5htp and tryptophan together.

IF my brain doesn't have enough serotonin would it stand to reason that taking an ssri might be of no or little use? I mean maybe i don't even have enough serotonin for and ssri to even make a difference? As opposed to attempting to elevate my own serotonin levels by taking 5htp and tryptophan thus increassing the likelihood that an ssri would work ,or maybe i wouldnt even need an ssri at that point?

I know i'm all over on this if anyone can make heads or tails of this and provide some insight it would be much appreciated.

I've just come to the point where I have to try and figure out how my brain works as opposed to the ever ongoing crapshoot at the p-doc office listening to what he says in the 5 seconds while writing me a scrip

Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 110

Feel for you buddy. I too had a rather harsh childhood. I have felt that the depression swoops in like a bird of prey and it takes away my soul.
Therapy is not one of the things that is readily available in the UK. So I have had to work mainly on myself with occaisionally finding a relevant outside view point to point out some missing links.
This is my protocol.
I dont know how much of these suppliments to take with SSRI's, I dont know what the interactions are so please do more research.

I favour (3 x 100mgs of 5Htp) taken sublingualy, chocolate (the answer to everything), magnesium, vincamine (2x 20 mgs a day). Ginkgo (2 x 60 mgs a day) a good multivit and 3x 50mgs of each BVit taken as a combo with my 3 first meals.
I have found that L-tyrosine could sometimes make me feel a bit anxious.
St Johns Wort made me feel sleepy and foggy but I also know some people that swear by it.
I found lots of good lipids worked very well too, paticularly fish oils (6 gs a day) hemp oil (20 mls a day) and lecithin (10 gs a day)

I find yoga and meditation to be very beneficial aswell as working out and sports.

Kind regards to you.

Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 51

This isn't a direct answer to your question, but I can tell you that Effexor is *awesome*. I have never felt so good in my entire life.

That being said, I went off of it due to anorgasmia but that may be a problem that females encounter more than males.

I suggest you try it, if you get the opportunity.

Hudson: "Hey Vasquez, You ever been mistaken for a man?" Vasquez: "No...have you?"
Aliens, 1983

Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 24

To me, the biggest pitfall of psychiatry is that they base their decision upon relayed information. Currently there is no way to find out if & where there is an organic malfunction without removing your brain and doing a stain. That is where the next evolution in neuropathology will come in, when we can image a patients brain (non-invasive) and see down to the point of the receptor and it's subunits.

I would advise against combining SSRI's with 5-HTP, too much can lead to serotonin syndrome. Even though the tests were with 5-HTP and an MAOi, I wouldn't risk it....

Wellbutrin is actually both a SDRI and SNRI.

Another problem with anti-depressants is that there is a large connection between NTs. (diffuse modulatory systems)

My recommendation is a neuropsych battery, they are a little bit more accurate then psychiatric/psychological diagnosis, and can help tailor meds.

Also you might consider behavior modification/psychotherapy (talk therapy)......

And, perhaps looking into any possible organic causes.


Dropped the masters goal and math, accelrating program - going for the gold D.Sc or Ph.D
.... Performed my first surgery, patient survived, it was a great rush.