Q. Will taking L-Theanine pills for anxiety make us addictive?

Answered by
Dr. Parth N. Nagda
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 21, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 24, 2020

Hello doctor,

My friend is 21 years old and suffers from anxiety. He feels like it is getting in the way of his daily activities and interactions with people. He used to get attacks more often but that is a lot better now. He decided to start taking L-Theanine pills or supplements. I would like to know more about these pills. How safe are they? How long or often should they be taken? He currently takes them with caffeine (200 mg of supplement for every 100 mg of caffeine) average of 400 mg L-Theanine a day. Could they become addictive? Does it have any side effects? What more should we know?



Welcome to

L-Theanine is an amino acid synthesized from tea. It helps with reducing stress and anxiety and induces a sense of calmness by increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain which are the feel-good chemicals.

As such, it is a supplement and not a medicine per se, so there are no fixed guidelines issued by any regulatory authorities. Normally people do get relief with 200 to 600 mg.

Since it is synthesized from a stimulant (tea) it is advised not to combine with other stimulants like caffeine. It can increase anxiety once the effect of caffeine wears off. Apart from that, there are no side effects as such and not really addictive.

If the anxiety issues are troubling, it would be advisable to visit a local psychiatrist and take a short course of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) class of medicines which will help with this problem. Also, consider doing deep breathing exercises or yoga or meditation.

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