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Notes on using as supplement with ecstasy and psychedelics:

Using Tryptophan Pre or During Experience

Discussion with FOAFs conclude that 5-HTP is useful with MDMA. Take it in the morning 3-4 hours prior to the MDMA. Makes for a smoother and longer return towards the end. 100 mg in AM, maybe 50 mg with the booster.--HR

Im familiar with using 5HTP in combo with MDMA. Ive read a lot about it too. I find that it softens the MDMA trip. If anything, it doesnt feel as speedy. For me adding 5HTP to MDMA makes me feel more in control and its not as dirty as it can sometimes be. I never go without!

... most important .. advise pople in the lsd faq in a short note to wait with 5-htp consumption till like t+7 .. otherwise the effect is unnerving.

20 Aug 1999
A popular dance culture magazine here in NZ is touting 5-HTP as a remedy for bad comedowns that are experienced after heavy use of Ecstasy type drugs. It also gave a recipe for preloading that involved tyrosine and was similar, if not identical to a pre-loading recipe that was previously published on this forum.

I remember that one of those amino acids, either tryptophan or tyrosine was taken off the health food shop shelves in the late 80s because it was found to be toxic, or something like that.

I'm concerned about the the toxicity of 5-HTP, and should it be used as comedown relief in the first place. Any other info on tryptophan or tyrosine abuse would be good as well. Currently 5-HTP is not the cheapest thing to buy but with it being legal, I expect many people to flock to their pharmacy shelves wanting it to battle those nasty comedowns.

Using Tryptophan Post Experience

anonymous: I've taken MDMA somewhere between 10 and 15 times. There is a brief blur in my college days. I would say that the last 5 of these times has resulted in a "crash" and that I have halted experimentation because of this. I usually have an excellent experience while "up", and then slip into a mild state of disappointment as the effects wear off. Upon reaching "baseline", I often carry a memory of the experience and all I have learned, though it can get elusive (hard to remember). The resolutions I make while "up" suddenly seem naive and drug-based. The connections I made seem artificial and also drug-based, as my monkey-mind resumes control. The 2nd day after is simialr to the first. The 3rd day is the worst. Tired, cranky, skeptical of the value of MDMA, and making the kinds of promises a drunk might make at the toilet ("just let me feel better, i'll never drink again"). Some experiences, thought, have been so positive that the "hangover" is transparent or non-existant. The emotional charge has been so strong that it carries over into "real-life" but these experiences have sadly been the minority. I have tried 5-htp and not noticed any positve effect at all, though each experience has been so unique that a real comparison is difficult. The main point of interest has been that 2cb seems incredibly helpful. Taken right at the moment where the peak seems to be ending, the pleasant effects of MDMA are prolonged and gently taper off. Also, the effects of the next couple days seem reduced when using this technique. 2cb also allows sleep shortly after the effects taper, whereas raw MDMA can keep me awake for an uncomfortable duration after pleasant effects have ceased.

- I *always* have day two depressions, and these are frequently debilitating, often making it impossible for me to go to work, get out of bed, etc. 5-htp does nothing for this.-- GS

Tryptophan as intoxicant:

I don't know of any research regarding tryptophan as an intoxicant, but I do know a small number of people who have used 5-HTP alone in pretty high doses as a recreational psychoactive. I have not heard similar claims for L-Tryptophan, but I have also only been involved in collecting reports of recreational psychoactive use for about 5 years, which is after the FDA ban on the sale of L-Tryptophan for human consumption.

The reported effects of 5HTP by itself come at dosages of 250-500 mg (about 5-10 capsules of most brands which come in 50 mg capsules). The effects reported are mild but distinct, increasing with dosage. There is the risk of serotonin syndrome when taking large doses of serotonin precursors and/or when combinging 5-HTP/Tryptophan with other serotonin drugs like MDMA.

Overdoses of tryptophan can cause nausea, vertigo, vomiting, overheating, uncomfortable flushing and is believed to be responsible for a number of hospitalizations from serotonin-syndrom like symptoms. This is, as far as I know, undocumented so far and is based on personal communications with an individual who went to the hospital after taking a large amount of 5-HTP and a doctor who reproted a single case to us in 2004. PubMed seems not to list any case reports for hospitalizations related to high dose tryptophan/5-HTP, although there are a number of cases where tryptophan combined with some other pharmaceutical may have causes Serotonin Syndrome.

One 180 lb male who reported taking 300 mg described it as giving him: "a mild sense of well being and general improvement in mood which lasted all day". A 140 lb female who took 500 mg described it as "a strong euphoria for an hour or so, kinda made me felt disoriented, I was unable to have an orgasm for 12 hours, felt somewhat sick afterwards" Another 130 lb female who took 100 mg on several occasions said it made her "feel ill".

Other reports include general effects like "felt strange" "enjoyable".. People seem to vary on whether they would do it again, but I do not know of anyone who considers it a really great time that hey want to do a lot of.

I also have a handfull or two of reports of people taking 5HTP after other recreational psychoactives. This is quite common and is recommended by some experienced MDMA users as a way to 'soften the blow' of the crash afterwards (not everyone experiences a crash). Although proponents of this use report very positive results, there are also a number of people who find that it increases their depression, moodiness, and general malaise.

I'm not sure what else to say about it. I haven't tried 500 mg of 5HTP to see what i think of it, but thats pretty much what I know about it.

anonymous: I have heard repeated reports that taking 5-HTP on an empty stomach can cause psychedelic effects. I have a friend who says he took 150 mg of 5-HTP then became very neauseated and tired so he passed out. Upon awakening a few hours later he said he was "tripping, visuals and everything." The effect lasted for about anouther 40 minutes and faded away.

As Neuroprotectant with MDMA:

Sprague JE; Huang X; Kanthasamy A; Nichols DE. Attenuation of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) induced neurotoxicity with the serotonin precursors tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan. Life Sciences, 1994, 55(15):1193-8.

Abstract: Treatment of rats with serotonin (5-HT) precursors tryptophan (TRP, 400 mg/kg) and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP, 50 mg/kg) was shown to attenuate MDMA (20 mg/kg) induced serotonergic neurotoxicity as measured by [3H]-paroxetine binding in the striatum, hippocampus, and frontal cortex of the rat brain. Hippocampal 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels were also indicative of the protective effects of TRP and 5-HTP. These results suggest that depletion of 5-HT stores is important for MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. The possible significance of this 5-HT depletion in MDMA-induced serotonergic terminal degeneration is also discussed.

Sprouse JS; Bradberry CW; Roth RH; Aghajanian GK. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced release of serotonin and inhibition of dorsal raphe cell firing: potentiation by L-tryptophan. European Journal of Pharmacology, 1990 Mar 27, 178(3):313-20.

Abstract: The effects of the serotonin (5-HT) precursor L-tryptophan on MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)-induced inhibition of dorsal raphe neuronal firing were characterized using extracellular single-unit recording and microdialysis techniques in the in vitro midbrain slice preparation. Pretreatment with L-tryptophan (100 microM) lowered the doses of MDMA required to inhibit unit activity. Based upon IC50 values, L-tryptophan increased the potency of MDMA by approximately 3-fold. In a parallel series of experiments, microdialysis probes resting on the brain slice surface provided a means to estimate 5-HT release from the dorsal raphe nucleus. Pretreatment with L-tryptophan increased MDMA-induced 5-HT release in a manner consistent with the suppression of dorsal raphe cell firing: compared to untreated preparations, peak 5-HT release, total release and the duration of release were all increased. Taken together, these data suggest that the enhancement by L-tryptophan of MDMA-induced 5-HT release and inhibition of dorsal raphe neuronal firing is due to an increase in the amount of 5-HT available for release. The question is raised as to what effect L-tryptophan may have on the psychotropic and neurotoxic actions of MDMA.