Alcohol and 5-HTP Side Effects | Can You Mix Alcohol and 5-HTP?

If you’re wondering whether or not there are possible alcohol and 5-HTP side effects, or you’re questioning “can you mix alcohol and 5-HTP,” it’s likely because you take the supplement, or you’re planning on it.

Alcohol can have interactions with certain drugs as well as herbal supplements, which is what 5-HTP is, so it’s important to know about possible alcohol and 5-HTP side effects before taking it.

Below we explore the potential alcohol and 5-HTP side effects and look at whether or not you can mix alcohol and 5-HTP.

Alcohol and 5-HTP Side Effects | Can You Mix Alcohol and 5-HTP?
Before going into alcohol and 5-HTP side effects, and answering “can you mix alcohol and 5-HTP,” what is this herbal supplement?

5-HTP stands for 5-Hydroxytryptophan, and it’s a by-product of the protein building block L-tryptophan when the body produces it. It can also be produced from the seeds of an African plant, and it can be used to help treat the symptoms of a range of mental health issues including insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It can be used to potentially help with symptoms of many other conditions including migraine and tension headaches, fibromyalgia, obesity, premenstrual syndrome, ADHD, and others.

Most research shows it’s possibly effective for the treatment of depression, and even as effective as some prescription antidepressants.

While we’re primarily discussing alcohol and 5-HTP side effects, this supplement is also sometimes used to help reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. There is some initial research showing that using 5-HTP during a period of alcohol withdrawal can mitigate some of the symptoms, potentially.

This supplement is believed to work by increasing how much serotonin is produced in your brain and central nervous system. Serotonin plays a role in many functions of your body, including your sleep, mental health, pain sensation, and appetite.

Your body makes its own 5-HTP, but in people who have a condition related to low serotonin levels, it’s believed that it can help them.

While this supplement might be used during alcohol withdrawal in some cases, what about when the two substances are taken together? Are there alcohol and 5-HTP side effects to be aware of? Can you mix alcohol and 5-HTP?

Alcohol and 5-HTP side effects are primarily due to the fact that it increases serotonin, and it’s a direct precursor to serotonin, so it should be taken with caution when you’re mixing it with any other substance that has a similar effect.

Alcohol, which is a substance with psychoactive properties, acts on the brain in various ways by binding to GABA receptors. Alcohol also binds to serotonin brain receptors and blocks dopamine from breaking down.

Since alcohol impacts serotonin levels, there are possible alcohol and 5-HTP side effects.

Over time and with situations such as alcoholism, alcohol depletes serotonin levels, but in the short-term drinking can release a small rush of serotonin, which is why you might feel good after having a couple of drinks. Alcohol can also impact serotonin receptors, as was touched on above.

There has been minimal research on the specifics of alcohol and 5-HTP side effects to date, but simply looking at the way alcohol and 5-HTP work on the brain would indicate it’s not a good idea to mix them.

The biggest concern with alcohol and 5-HTP side effects is the potential for serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome, as one of the alcohol and 5-HTP side effects, can be dangerous or even life-threatening.

Serotonin syndrome refers to a condition where symptoms relate to an excess of serotonin. These symptoms, which can be alcohol and 5-HTP side effects, include raised body temperature, agitation, tremors, sweating, and dilated pupils. There’s also the potential for gastrointestinal symptoms, and complications of serotonin syndrome can include seizures and breakdown of muscles.

Serotonin syndrome can occur not just as one of the possible alcohol and 5-HTP side effects, but also when this supplement is combined with any other substance that impacts serotonin levels. These substances can include SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, amphetamines, St. John’s Wort, ecstasy, and cocaine, among others.

As was mentioned above, the alcohol and 5-HTP side effects related to too much serotonin occur when you’re actually mixing the two at the same time. So, can you mix alcohol and 5-HTP? No, it may not be safe so it shouldn’t be done.

However, 5-HTP may be helpful in alcohol withdrawal treatment since most of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are due to low serotonin levels.

Regardless, you should always talk to your doctor not just about the potential alcohol and 5-HTP side effects, but side effects of the supplement in general. There’s an unfortunate misconception that because something is natural or over-the-counter, it’s inherently safe, and this may not be the reality.

Can you mix alcohol and 5-HTP? Probably not, and it also shouldn’t be mixed with a wide variety of other supplements and substances. Speak with your doctor before you start taking something like 5-HTP.

Alcohol and 5-HTP Side Effects | Can You Mix Alcohol and 5-HTP?
4 (80%) 1 vote
Alcohol and 5-HTP Side Effects | Can You Mix Alcohol and 5-HTP? was last modified: October 11th, 2017 by The Recovery Village