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What are the side effects of 5-HTP?

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Possible side effects of 5-HTP include muscle weakness, tingling, skin rash, bruising, numbness and pain, according to Drugs.com. Less serious side effects include appetite loss, stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, heartburn and gas. Other possible side effects include heartburn, drowsiness, sexual problems and muscle problems.

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Signs of an allergic reaction to the active ingredient in 5-HTP, hydroxytryptophan, include hives, breathing problems and swelling of the face, tongue, throat or lips, states Drugs.com. If serious side effects are experienced, a healthcare provider should be contacted immediately.

Some who have taken 5-HTP have gotten eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, which is a serious condition that causes muscle tenderness and abnormalities in the blood. It is not known if this is a side effect of 5-HTP or if there is a contaminate in some 5-HTP products, as of 2015. For this reason, caution should be exercised when taking 5-HTP products, notes WebMD.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take 5-HTP products, as it is possibly unsafe. Research suggests that 5-HTP may cause some individuals with Down Syndrome to have seizures. People should not take 5-HT products within two weeks of surgery, as it can cause an increase of serotonin in the brain, which can cause anxiety, shivering and heart problems, according to WebMD.

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