You should ask Dr. Gould his opinion of this. He's under the Expert Forum and is the psychiatrist for mental health here.
I think he's great!
There are a number of vitamins, herbs, supplements, etc., that claim to help with depression. 5HTP, St. John's Wort, B6, etc. There is a lot of conflicting info out there and everyone's different.
I've noted a few supplements I have for moods have 5HTP, so maybe there is some value in it. I have a nutritionist/Dr. whom treats me for hypothyroid, and the accompanying or maybe, co-existing, depression. He put me on something called NeuroReplete and claimed that it should help. I just looked at the ingredients... 5HTP 150 mg. I found another supplement called "Mood Improve" that had 5HTP 75mg along with St. Johns Wort, B6, SamE, L-Tyrosine, etc. Does it help?? Hard to say. The quality of a vitamin is always an issue as well. I've noticed that sometimes, the stuff over the counter isn't as effective as some of the one's I've got that are only available through Drs of nutrition... not always though. It takes time to figure it out with each vitamin sometimes.
I do believe in supporting your body and brain nutritionally. For some of us, it helps and for others, maybe it might not.
I have been on and off Zoloft (10-25mg). I am currently on it steadily for 3 weeks now because I have noted it has helped. I am trying to see if I can accomplish being off it through vitamin supplements such as above, diet management, exercise and hormonal balancing. I have tried it years ago, by itself (called HTP.calm) and it was quite relaxing in a nice way. Can't find that version of it anymore and didn't quite feel that it was the answer by itself.
Would love to hear if you try it and notice anything from it. Bless you in your struggle and may health come to you soon.
HiI have a website www.protazen.com for you to check it might just be what you are looking for.Good luck Treefarmer1
I have suffered with severe depression and anxiety for about 10 years. I was very, extremely skeptical about Neuroreplete and Cysreplete after having been on a myriad of antidepressant SSRI's. I thought it was just a money making scheme and I was scared.
Let me just say that I'm glad I did my research and I'm glad I tried it because it has made a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. I had my psychologist ask a phychiatrist about Neuroreplete and he dismissed it which made me even more anxious. These aminos, combined with B vitamins and Omega 3's have been the difference for me.
I should also add that I am on 5mg of Lexapro as well...which I was on before I was on the aminos and it wasn't enough. Higher doseages of Lexapro had bad side effects for me and I couldn't handle it.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin. There is a massive amount of evidence that suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living. The lifestyle and dietary practices of many people living in this stress-filled era results in lowered levels of serotonin within the brain. As a result, many people are overweight, crave sugar and other carbohydrates, experience bouts of depression, get frequent headaches, and have vague muscle aches and pain. All of these maladies are correctable by raising brain serotonin levels.
Conditions associated with low serotonin levels helped by 5-HTP
Chronic daily headaches
Watch out for any drugs available over the counter. There is often very little quality control to ensure you are getting a standardized dose. One bottle may have as much as ten times the active ingredient as another.
It is especially ill-advised to combine 5HTP with prescription antidepressants.
I would say as for natural remedies they are an unknown quantity so that's never a good thing. And nothing should be taken except under the supervision of a psychiatrist. As for what was mentioned (and from personal experience) tyrosine and taurine are dangerous. Don't try them. 5TTP I'd say the evidence is inconclusive. Fish oil can and would be given as an adjunct mood stabilizer by a psychiatrist but the anti-cholesterol medication Lovaza works in the same manner and is used experimentally for bipolar. In Europe Sam-e, St. John's Wort and rhodiola are used clinically as anti-depressents. I know some psychiatrists would use them but a person should especially never try anything like this on their own as if they have bipolar they will set off manic episodes. As for anything online or natural remedies that claim to cure everything that is blatant misinformation. Don't believe it. I take rhodiola for my physical disability and its used for depression. But if you look it up online there are claims it cures everything and they are untrue.
Now as for your primary question, there is no supplement that will replace a standard medication (if you read through my posts what I am on is an anti-psychotic agent in Phase II FDA study not a natural remedy). You could speak to your psychiatrist about what could help with depression or google "Depression Central" for more information if you want to know what else is available in the way of anti-depressents and discuss it with your psychiatrist. As for Lunesta as that is a sleep aide you could ask about discontinuing it with your psychiatrist's permission if you no longer have insomnia but another good option is the medication Rozerem which being related to melatonin adjusts the sleep cycle.
As most of the above rightly say, stick with the allopathic treatments. Not only do you not know for sure what you're getting with the 5-HTP, you could be risking serotonin syndrome.
I took 5HTP for three months, a good brand. It did nothing, sorry
ILADVOCATE raises a really good point about so called 'natural medicines'. I'm sure you know already that a substantial number of regular medications are developed from natural sources (aspirin being a classic example), but are refined so only the active therapeutic agent is used. St. John's Wort / Hypericum is another good example - it works by pretty much the same mechanism as an SSRI (although the German medical fraternity think highly of it). The reality is that if a drug or a 'natural remedy' aids a condition, then their modes of action are probably similar (a ligand will bind to an appropriate receptor to produce the desired effect). The critical difference is that a prescription medication will have been tested for years before it hits the prescription pad; the 'natural remedies'? Well ...
St. Johns Wort is extremely dangerous with SSRI/SNRI's, as well with someone with BP. SAM-E has a warning on the label not to take it if you have bipolar and/or bipolar symptoms. These herbal and/or vitamin "supplements" are not regulated by the FDA.