Q. When should I opt for 5-HTP after the withdrawal of Pristiq?

Answered by
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on May 29, 2019

Hello doctor,

I daily take Pristiq antidepressant tablet 50 mg, which doctor had prescribed since a year. Now I am tapering the tablet gradually as per doctor's instruction. The first week every other day and second week every two days and the third week every three days. And now this is my fourth week, and I am off completely. So my question is, can I use 5-HTP supplement tablet? So that my withdrawal symptoms will be less.

And when I can take 5-HTP? Withdrawal symptoms are scary to me, and I want to completely stop this Pristiq because I tried many times to get it off, but unfortunately, I cannot. I had withdrawal symptoms, brain zaps, nausea, and diarrhea. I have some supplements like fish oil, b12, and 5-HTP but still waiting for a doctor advises.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

As you are tapering your Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine), there will be no withdrawal at all. You need to restart because of anxiety or depression disorder, not because of withdrawal. 5-HTP (Hydroxytryptophan) is not FDA approved and no guideline for it to how to use and when to use. It is a supplement product, but not a medication to treat. You should follow depression and nonpharmacological management.

Do exercises daily for 30 to 45 minutes like walking and practice meditation for 20 minutes daily. Eat healthy home cooked foods, avoid junk foods. Spend quality time with friends and family every day. Spend time for creative hobbies like reading good books, writing journals, painting, drawings, and learning new skills or language or musical instruments. Have enough of 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. Avoid tobacco or alcohol or any substance abuse. Live your life, do not just spend it. Be bold and confident.

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