Are There Any Caveats with Taking Tryptophan?

Q I’m ready to try tryptophan. Currently, I’m taking 250 mg x2 of Lamictal, 150 mg of Anafranil, and 10 mg of Celexa. Any advice?

RACHEL, Kenmore, WA

A A very good book on the subject of drug/nutrient interactivity is Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, 2nd ed. (2001) by Ross Pelton, James B. LaValle, Ernest B. Hawkins, and Daniel L. Krinsky, which Life Enhancement Products sold at one time. Unfortunately, it is no longer available except through remnant houses or online bookstores, such as Amazon.com, albeit at a hefty price. Nevertheless, it’s a great reference work, one that surpasses expectations. Written by a team of pharmacists, it is rationally tempered in its presentation, listing both the negative as well as the positive literature.

Using it wisely, it’s fairly easy to see which nutrients are affected by which drugs, and vice versa. The book has several indexes: a comprehensive index, one for drugs, and one for nutrients and the drugs that affect them; it also has monographs on all the nutrients. The pièce de résistance is the abstracts of the medical literature to back it all up. It is a worthwhile investment.

However, given the drugs you’re using, we strongly recommend conferring with your doctor before using tryptophan.

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