Unexpected Effects
by Phaar
Citation:   Phaar. "Unexpected Effects: An Experience with L-tryptophan (exp41201)". Erowid.org. Apr 23, 2005. erowid.org/exp/41201

1000 mg oral Tryptophan


I (29 year old male, 70 kg, no other medication, suffering a bit of a cold at the time) was planning on going out for a nice evening of dancing, which might or might not include some MDMA. In the past I have on some occasions noticed fatigue/depression for a few days following MDMA usage. This has been described elsewhere and attributed to serotonin (5-HT) depletion. It has also been suggested that the amino acid tryptophan (TP), a biological precursor for 5-HT, would reduce this effect. In the Netherlands tryptophan is sold as a food supplement, advertised as reducing stress.

I took 1000 mg of L-Tryptophan before getting in the car with my girlfriend to go to the party, and after half an hour to an hour I was quite surprised to find myself feeling lightheaded.

The lightheadedness was a bit like what I'd experience after 1 glass of whisky on an empty stomach, but without the associated drowsiness/muscle relaxation.
While I had been rather irritable earlier in the day, most of the irritability seemed to have gone. I did not even mind sitting in a car as a passenger for a several hour trip (no pun intended) as much as I normally would. I would not have wanted to drive in that state.

When we stopped for fuel I felt a bit clumsy in the exchange of the usual courtesy phrases. I found myself responding to one phrase when the cashier was about to open her mouth to utter it.

When we stopped for some drinks and a restroom visit, I found that I didn't really look around me as well as I should. I tripped over a low bit of store display and nearly bumped into someone I didn't notice when I was heading for the door. I felt like I was more focused (in a slightly obsessive manner) and less attentive.

I felt like I could probably drive safely again. Pretty much normal again, perhaps very faint lightheadedness.

During all this experience I did not experience any visual effects (eyes open or closed). The nasal congestion caused by my cold was not affected either. All in all I was left wondering if this was caused by the tryptophan. The Tikhal entry on tryptamine (T) did mention tryptophan effects after doses of up to 15 g, although in most of the reported doses no distinction was made between L-tryptophan and racemic (D,L-tryptophan) tryptophan.

Exp Year: 2005ExpID: 41201
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Apr 23, 2005Views: 55,575
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Tryptophan (138) : General (1), Small Group (2-9) (17)

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