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L-tryptophan is one of 8 important irreplaceable aminoacids that has a combined action. This aminoacid is not synthesized in the body and should be received from food, biological supplements, and others. The main pharmacological functions of L-tryptophan are:

- Synthesis of protein
- Production of melatonin, serotonin, kynurenin, quinolinic acid
- Regulation of human behavior
- Improvement of psychoemotional state
- Improving the quality of sleep
- Improvement of cognitive functions
- Participation in the development of dopamine, norepinephrine, beta-endorphin
- Improvement of endocrine function
- Regulation of appetite during food disorders (bulimia, etc.)
- Reduction of cravings for alcohol and narcotic substances

In the USA, Canada and countries of the European Union, L-tryptophan is prescribed as an antidepressant and a sedative product. But unlike classical antidepressants, L-tryptophan does not have a side effect on the body and is well tolerated. This aminoacid L-tryptophan is well absorbed by the body, is quickly dissolved and goes to the blood plasma at once.

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An influence on the production of neuroactive metabolites (serotonin, melatonin, and others) happens softer, and therefore the use of L-tryptophan is recommended as a safe alternative to synthetic sedative supplements.

When is L-tryptophan prescribed?

- Depressive conditions
- Frequent mood swings
- Seasonal functional disorders
- Anxiety and other emotional disorders
- Neuroses
- Increased irritability
- Bad sleep: insomnia, frequent night awakenings, short phase of deep sleep and as a result, chronic fatigue
- Prevention of migraine

In what dose is L-tryptophan used?

L-tryptophan should be used before meals for better uptake of the drug. Capsules/pills may be taken with water or juice. Do not take L-tryptophan with protein cocktails and milk. To increase a concentration of L-tryptophan in the tissues of the brain and increase its bioavailability, the capsules/pills of L-tryptophan should be used with carbohydrates: sugar, chocolate, bakery products, and others.

For the prophylaxis purposes, a minimal therapeutic dose of L-tryptophan is used in the dose of 1 g per day.

To treat insomnia, L-tryptophan is used in the minimal dose of 1 g before sleeping. In case of the low efficiency, a dose is increased up to 2-3 g per day. The entire daily dose should be used 30 minutes before sleeping.

To treat alcohol/narcotic addiction, it is recommended to take L-tryptophan in the dose of 1 g 3-4 times per day.

If emotional disorders, L-tryptophan is used in the dose of 1 g 2-3 times per day.


- The use of L-tryptophan in doses more than 6 g per day is not recommended. High doses do not cause a faster therapeutic reaction but the risk of the side effects is increased
- L-tryptophan may increase a sedative action of antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, alcohol. Therefore the dose of the sedative products should be lowered during the simultaneous use with L-tryptophan
- Do not take L-tryptophan with MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants and ISRS because they may significantly increase the level of serotonin and cause a serotonin syndrome
- The use of L-tryptophan is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation

Possible side effects

In general, the use of L-tryptophan does not cause side effects and is well tolerated. This aminoacid is a part of our body and is required for the normal functioning. But using higher doses of L-tryptophan (more than 6 g per day) or in combination with antidepressants may cause the following side effects: drowsiness, decreased appetite, dry mouth, fatigue, and light tremor.

If you feel side effects, reduce the dose of L-tryptophan for a while.

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