Last update July 6, 2022


Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

Oxitriptan or l-5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a metabolite of the natural amino acid L-Tryptophan, a component of proteins. In turn it is the immediate precursor of serotonin. It is abundantly found in the seeds of the African plant griffonia simplicifolia (Rondanelli 2012). It is used as an antidepressant, to treat fibromyalgia, neurological disorders, headaches, insomnia and obesity with controversy over the lack of evidence of its effetiveness. (MedlinePlus 2016, Shaw 2002, Alt Med Rev 1998)

Since the last update we have not found any published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Its pharmacokinetic data (low molecular weight, low protein binding, low volume of distribution) make it likely that it would pass into breast milk in amounts which could be significant.

It can increase prolactin levels. (Lancranjan 1977)

Levels of 5-HTP and tryptophan decrease in the mother during childbirth, while they increase in cord blood. (Carretti 2003)

Like L-Tryptophan, its use has been associated with a serious epidemic of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome with more than 1,500 cases and 37 deaths occurring in the 1990s, possibly caused by contaminated or poorly prepared batches of tryptophan. (Medline Plus 2016, Klarskov 2003, Klarskov 1999, Michelson 1994)

The FDA has not authorized its as a drug.

Due to the lack of evidence on its efficacy and the possibility of side effects, it is a drug that is non-essential during breastfeeding. If used, very moderate consumption is recommended and and it must come from a reliable source, given the poisonings that have previously occurred. (Medline Plus 2016)

See below the information of these related products:

  • Maternal Depression (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)
  • Tryptophan (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Oxytriptan is also known as

Oxytriptan in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Oxytriptan in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 69 (47 - 84) %
Molecular weight 220 daltons
Protein Binding 19 %
VD 0.34 l/Kg
pKa 2.15 -
Tmax 6 hours
2.2 - 7.4 hours


  1. MedlinePlus, 5-HTP MedlinePlus Supplements. 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. MedinePlus. 5-HTP. MedlinePlus suplementos. 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Faliva M, Bucci M, Perna S. Relationship between the absorption of 5-hydroxytryptophan from an integrated diet, by means of Griffonia simplicifolia extract, and the effect on satiety in overweight females after oral spray administration. Eat Weight Disord. 2012 Abstract
  4. Carretti N, Bertazzo A, Comai S, Costa CV, Allegri G, Petraglia F. Serum tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan at birth and during post-partum days. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2003 Abstract
  5. Klarskov K, Johnson KL, Benson LM, Cragun JD, Gleich GJ, Wrona M, Jiang XR, Dryhurst G, Naylor S. Structural characterization of a case-implicated contaminant, "Peak X," in commercial preparations of 5-hydroxytryptophan. J Rheumatol. 2003 Abstract
  6. Shaw K, Turner J, Del Mar C. Are tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan effective treatments for depression? A meta-analysis. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2002 Abstract
  7. Klarskov K, Johnson KL, Benson LM, Gleich GJ, Naylor S. Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome case-associated contaminants in commercially available 5-hydroxytryptophan. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1999 Abstract
  8. [No authors listed] 5-hydroxytryptophan. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Abstract
  9. Westenberg HG, Gerritsen TW, Meijer BA, van Praag HM. Kinetics of l-5-hydroxytryptophan in healthy subjects. Psychiatry Res. 1982 Abstract
  10. Magnussen I, Nielsen-Kudsk F. Bioavailability and related pharmacokinetics in man of orally administered L-5-hydroxytryptophan in steady state. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol (Copenh). 1980 Abstract
  11. Magnussen I, Nielsen-Kudsk F. Pharmacokinetics of intravenously administered L-5-hydroxytryptophan in man. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol (Copenh). 1979 Abstract
  12. Lancranjan I, Wirz-Justice A, Pühringer W, Del Pozo E. Effect of 1-5 hydroxytryptophan infusion on growth hormone and prolactin secretion in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1977 Abstract

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