In Canada, tryptophan is sold as a prescription drug to treat mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder, depression). It is usually used with other medicines. It works to make the mood more stable and reduce extremes in behavior by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin, melatonin) in the brain. Tryptophan is a natural substance (amino acid) found in high-protein foods and milk.
In the US, tryptophan is sold as a dietary supplement. It has been used to support mood, relaxation, and restful sleep. If you are taking other medications that may affect serotonin (such as many antidepressants), do not take tryptophan without talking with your doctor first. A very serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction may occur. Your doctor should closely monitor you. See also Side Effects section.
Some supplement products have been found to contain possibly harmful impurities/additives. Check with your pharmacist for more details about the brand you use.
The US FDA has not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
How To Use
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it by mouth with a meal or snack, usually 3 to 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Taking this medication with food helps reduce side effects such as nausea.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may adjust your dose to find the best dose for you. Do not take this medication more often, increase your dose, or stop taking it without first consulting your doctor. Your condition will not improve faster and your risk of side effects will increase.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, use it regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
If you are using tryptophan as a dietary supplement, take this product by mouth as directed. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product for any mental/mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Your condition may require medical attention or prescribed medication.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.