Skip to main content


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 6, 2022.

What are other common names?

  • 2-Amino-3-(5-Hydroxy-1H-Indol-3-yl)Propanoic Acid
  • 5 Hydroxy-Tryptophane
  • 5-HTP
  • 5-Hydroxy
  • 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan
  • 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophane
  • 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophane
  • 5-L-Hydroxytryptophan
  • 5HTP
  • Griffonia Extract
  • Griffonia simplicifolia
  • L-5 HTP
  • L-5 Hydroxytryptophan
  • L-5-Hydroxytryptophane
  • Minichill
  • Oxitryptan
  • Relarian
  • Tryptophan

What is this product used for?

5-Hydroxytryptophan is also known as 5-HTP. It is used by some people to help with low mood. Others may use it to help with headaches.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with other drugs or natural products. If you have more than one doctor, make sure you inform each of them.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural product.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • This product is used by your body to make serotonin. Do not use this product if you are taking other products that also increase serotonin in your body, such as some cough medicines, SSRIs, or MAO inhibitors. These are products like St John’s wort, dextromethorphan, fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

  • Avoid beer, wine, and mixed drinks (alcohol) while taking this product.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Low mood

    • Been taking drugs for cough or pain

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Heartburn, gas, feeling of fullness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Sleepiness

  • Feeling dizzy

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of too much serotonin in your body, such as irritability, restlessness, confusion, fast heartbeat, twitching, very bad sweating, very high fever, seizures, or uneven heartbeat.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad headache

  • Very bad muscle pain

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at


Copyright © 2022 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.