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L-Tryptophan with Wellbutrin XL


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Does anyone know if it is safe to take L-tryptophan with Wellbutrin? I am looking to take the tryp for insomnia.

I have not yet started the Wellbutrin. I have chronic insomnia in my own right - and am inbetween AD's. I have been using different Rx's/remedies for the insomnia hoping to find a fit now - knowing that when I start the Wellbutrin I could potentially be looking at brutal drug-induced insomnia on top of the endogenous stuff.

I thought if I tried L-tryp prior to WB, I would get an idea if it would help (I need sleep NOW). I am aware that WB works on dopamine and norepinephrine, and that L-tryp. increases serotonin. It would appear on the surface that chemically these two would be safe in combo.

Does anyone have any experience w/ Wellbutrin combined with L-tryptophan, or research to share?

Previous insomnia remedies:

Can get 3-4 hours sleep w/Ambien CR, but not after 2 nites in a row; just finished 6-month withdrawal from xanax; Elavil, Trazadone, Hydroxyzine, Seroquel don't work (sedation, but no sleep); OTC and herbal stuff ineffective.

Thanks for any info,

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Wellbutrin doesn't really touch serotonin, so I think it should be OK. You might also consider melatonin (up to 1mg*) at bedtime (instead of the tryptophan--if you haven't yet).

The annoying thing about dietary supplements that they're not fully regulated by anyone, so there could be a drastic difference between one company's product and another company's. It's also possible for the label not to list the actual amount of the active ingredient(s)...

There are some independent organizations that look for so-called "good manufacturing practices" and perhaps even test the product to check if it contains what the manufacturer claims that it does. NSF International is one of them, but there are others (except I can't think of any).

* Many products contain higher amounts, but last time I checked, taking more than 1 mg didn't really work.

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L-tryptophan worked for me, but melatonin doesn't. Have no idea why.

L-tryptophan doesn't work for everyone. It doesn't give you that tired all of a sudden feeling that sleep meds seem to give you, but it does help you drift off to sleep.

Have you tried skullcap - like maybe a gram of it? That worked for me too.

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Does anyone know if it is safe to take L-tryptophan with Wellbutrin? I am looking to take the tryp for insomnia.

Tryptophan is an amino acid from which serotonin and melatonin are made. The better you are at making serotonin and converting it to melatonin at the propoer time of day, the better you should be able to sleep. Because of the size of the molecules involved (and probably some other factors as well) excess tryptophan interferes with absorption of tyrosine and maybe phenylalanine - which are used to make dopamine and noradrenaline. That's likely to be the extent of interaction.

I have been using different Rx's/remedies for the insomnia hoping to find a fit now - knowing that when I start the Wellbutrin I could potentially be looking at brutal drug-induced insomnia on top of the endogenous stuff.

Wellbutrin is a strong liver enzyme inhibitor, practically disabling one form of the P450 enzyme used to metabolize many OTC and prescription preparations. Actually, you're not helping yourself by trying out these remedies when you do not yet know how Wellbutrin will actually affect you. In some cases, WB improves sleep.

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FWIW, I have chronic insomnia and have taken Wellbutrin off and on for the better part of ten years. I don't know how or why, but on Wellbutrin I can get by with substantially less sleep than I'd be able to otherwise.

Lately I've been having to take Thorazine to not stay awake for days but before that I could take Wellbutrin and easily get by with six hours of sleep a night.

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Wellbutrin has been sleep-neutral for me, if there is such a word. I don't have trouble falling asleep, and I sleep for 7 hours--which seems to be plenty. I agree with Null0: maybe you could try Wellbutrin first before you start adding other substances. Take it with your breakfast if you are worried about it keeping you awake.

olga

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Does anyone know if it is safe to take L-tryptophan with Wellbutrin? I am looking to take the tryp for insomnia.

Tryptophan is an amino acid from which serotonin and melatonin are made. The better you are at making serotonin and converting it to melatonin at the propoer time of day, the better you should be able to sleep. Because of the size of the molecules involved (and probably some other factors as well) excess tryptophan interferes with absorption of tyrosine and maybe phenylalanine - which are used to make dopamine and noradrenaline. That's likely to be the extent of interaction.

Null0trooper,

If tryptophan interferes with the absorption of tyrosine and phenylalnine - and ultimately dopamine and noradrenaline - couldn't it interfere with the effectiveness of Wellbutrin? Since WB's goal is to increase these 2 neurotransmitters?

I have been using different Rx's/remedies for the insomnia hoping to find a fit now - knowing that when I start the Wellbutrin I could potentially be looking at brutal drug-induced insomnia on top of the endogenous stuff.

Wellbutrin is a strong liver enzyme inhibitor, practically disabling one form of the P450 enzyme used to metabolize many OTC and prescription preparations. Actually, you're not helping yourself by trying out these remedies when you do not yet know how Wellbutrin will actually affect you. In some cases, WB improves sleep.

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Sorry all - I messed up the "quote feature" in my last response - trying to single out one of Null0trooper's comments and ask a question.

Thanks for all your responses - I will use all of them as I try to sort this out....

Breathedeeply

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Null0trooper,

If tryptophan interferes with the absorption of tyrosine and phenylalnine - and ultimately dopamine and noradrenaline - couldn't it interfere with the effectiveness of Wellbutrin? Since WB's goal is to increase these 2 neurotransmitters?

It may interfere with transport of other large amino acids from the gut to the bloodstream. However, there may still be more than enough phenylalanine and tyrosine absorbed to make as much dopamine, noradrenaline as the body intends to make. Also, the supplement dose doesn't last forever.

Making the neurotransmitters doesn't mean they are released. Releasing them doesn't mean they stay in the synaptic cleft. Reuptake doesn't mean they'll be stored for re-release and not de-aminated.

Amino acid supplements at best are a crude way of trying to increase synthesis by increasing the raw materials that are assumed to be in limited supply. However, the body isn't a beaker in a lab, so Le Chatelier's Principle doesn't necessarily apply. Stimulants work by stimulating neurotransmitter release in the face of insufficient normal stimuli. Reuptake inhibitors prevent the transport molecules from removing the released transmitters back to storage. MAOIs prevent deamination by the monoamine oxidase enzyme, so the transmitters can get re-used.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, the catch is not to cut yourself shaving.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Null0trooper,

If tryptophan interferes with the absorption of tyrosine and phenylalnine - and ultimately dopamine and noradrenaline - couldn't it interfere with the effectiveness of Wellbutrin? Since WB's goal is to increase these 2 neurotransmitters?

It may interfere with transport of other large amino acids from the gut to the bloodstream. However, there may still be more than enough phenylalanine and tyrosine absorbed to make as much dopamine, noradrenaline as the body intends to make. Also, the supplement dose doesn't last forever.

Making the neurotransmitters doesn't mean they are released. Releasing them doesn't mean

they stay in the synaptic cleft. Reuptake doesn't mean they'll be stored for re-release and not de-aminated.

Amino acid supplements at best are a crude way of trying to increase synthesis by increasing the raw materials that are assumed to be in limited supply. However, the body isn't a beaker in a lab, so Le Chatelier's Principle doesn't necessarily apply. Stimulants work by stimulating neurotransmitter release in the face of insufficient normal stimuli. Reuptake inhibitors prevent the transport molecules from removing the released transmitters back to storage. MAOIs prevent deamination by the monoamine oxidase enzyme, so the transmitters can get re-used.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, the catch is not to cut yourself shaving.

Good explanation. Thanks.

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