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jbmd, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 615
Experience:  Board Certified physician in Internal Medicine - 30+ years experience
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hello I am sufferer of clinical depression and have take prozac

Customer Question

hello I am sufferer of clinical depression and have take prozac to help with this and while its helping with my moods, the loss of sex drive and weight gain are terrible side effects. I was wondering if 5htp is an effective treatment for clinical depression?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  jbmd replied 4 years ago.
Hi--I'll be glad to give you an answer. 5HTP is a tempting substitute for SSRI medications like Prozac. In theory (and in actuality), it has a similar action: Prozac blocks the receptors that cause the uptake of serotonin (a chemical in the brain linked to improved mood) and 5HTP increases the production of serotonin so, while working differently, they ultimately result in the same thing: less depression. (That is, if they work for any particular person.)

Prozac has its side effects as you know. 5HTP also does including a serious muscle syndrome. However, it can also have sexual and gut side effects the same as Prozac. So in sum it's probably quite like Prozac but more dangerous.

Has your doctor tried Wellbutrin (bupropion)? It is an antidepressant that can cause weight loss and INCREASED sexual drive in some lucky users. Not everyone of course. Doesn't work for everyone.

If you have any questions, please ask. If not, please rate and close the question. I like to give excellent advice that looks at all sides of the question for the customer here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

wellbutrin is not licensed in the UK to treat depression, do you know of any other anti depressants like wellbutrin which do not cause sexual side effects and which are licensed in the UK to treat depression?

Expert:  jbmd replied 4 years ago.

I didn't know Wellbutrin was not available in the UK--bupropion IS available as Zyban to stop smoking. Same drug and, as far as I know, doctors in the UK can prescribe for off-label use.


Mirtazapine also has a low rate of sexual side effects.