19 doctors weighed in:
Natural supplaments like sam-e, 5-htp, st johns wort are good for depress, anx & mood. Can all be taken, or just 1 or 2 ? I'm not on prescrip meds.
19 doctors weighed in

Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine
8 doctors agree
In brief: Perhaps but caution
Each of these has been shown to work as well as prescription antidepressants, but just as i would not start someone on 3 meds at the same time i would not start all of these at once; it will probably not be necessary and you could wind up with too much serotonin, which can be toxic.
My favorite of these is 5-htp, usually 200-300 mg, esp. Beneficial if you have insomnia &/or anxiety. See my comment.

In brief: Perhaps but caution
Each of these has been shown to work as well as prescription antidepressants, but just as i would not start someone on 3 meds at the same time i would not start all of these at once; it will probably not be necessary and you could wind up with too much serotonin, which can be toxic.
My favorite of these is 5-htp, usually 200-300 mg, esp. Beneficial if you have insomnia &/or anxiety. See my comment.
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker
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2 comments
Dr. Randy Baker
If there isn't significant improvement in 3 weeks then you can add another. St. Johns Wort is safe, esp. if you aren't on meds it interacts with & avoid excess sun. SAM-e often works the quickest, though some people get anxious from high doses. You can also add fish oil, about 2000 mg of Omega 3's at the start of treatment. If that and 2 of the above don't work cautiously add the 3rd. See comment
Dr. Randy Baker
Sorry- they don't give us enough space here! While all the aforementioned supps can really help, don't forget counseling, exercise,healthy diet, adequate rest, meditation, & Vitamin D in the winter months for everyone. Rule out hypothyroidism. Homeopathy, Chinese medicine & Emotional Freedom Technique are other treatment options well worth considering. And sometimes prescription meds can help too!
Emily Lu
Family Medicine
8 doctors agree
In brief: Be Very Careful
I never endorse starting multiple agents at once.
You'll never know what did what. St. Johns wort is notorious for interacting with other medications. 5-htp can also cause serotonin syndrome if you use too much of it, or use it with other serotonin drugs. Though not on other drugs right now, i would recommend being monitored by a doctor anyhow to ensure proper dosing & minimize adverse effects.

In brief: Be Very Careful
I never endorse starting multiple agents at once.
You'll never know what did what. St. Johns wort is notorious for interacting with other medications. 5-htp can also cause serotonin syndrome if you use too much of it, or use it with other serotonin drugs. Though not on other drugs right now, i would recommend being monitored by a doctor anyhow to ensure proper dosing & minimize adverse effects.
Emily Lu
Emily Lu
Answer assisted by Emily Lu, Medical Student
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Dr. Samoon Ahmad
Psychiatry
7 doctors agree
In brief: Less is more
Treatment of anxiety and mood vs treating these entities as disorders is important to differentiate.
Both can be a normal response to stress so before treatment, frequency, severity & impact on life should be evaluated. These products are helpful in milder symptoms, have limited double blind data and combinations are not recommended. Serotonin syndrome can be dangerous. A psy eval is recommended.

In brief: Less is more
Treatment of anxiety and mood vs treating these entities as disorders is important to differentiate.
Both can be a normal response to stress so before treatment, frequency, severity & impact on life should be evaluated. These products are helpful in milder symptoms, have limited double blind data and combinations are not recommended. Serotonin syndrome can be dangerous. A psy eval is recommended.
Dr. Samoon Ahmad
Dr. Samoon Ahmad
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Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry
6 doctors agree
In brief: Not sure
I am not clear with what you are trying to treat.
Best supplement for moods & focusing is omega 3/ fish oil. The ones you mentioned are supplements to elevate the mood & should not be combined with antidepressants.

In brief: Not sure
I am not clear with what you are trying to treat.
Best supplement for moods & focusing is omega 3/ fish oil. The ones you mentioned are supplements to elevate the mood & should not be combined with antidepressants.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
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Dr. Eric Anderson
Psychiatry
6 doctors agree
In brief: Depends
The research is lacking on some of those you mentioned, but st.
John's wort at least has some data to support a modest benefit in depression (although case reports of it making depression worse are also out there). I'd suggest trying only one at a time and let your doctor know which one. That way, he/she can monitor you for side effects or worsening symptoms.

In brief: Depends
The research is lacking on some of those you mentioned, but st.
John's wort at least has some data to support a modest benefit in depression (although case reports of it making depression worse are also out there). I'd suggest trying only one at a time and let your doctor know which one. That way, he/she can monitor you for side effects or worsening symptoms.
Dr. Eric Anderson
Dr. Eric Anderson
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Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees
In brief: All at once?
All these chemicals raise serotonin in your brain & basically do same thing, to releive depression & anxiety.
Would advise one at a time.

In brief: All at once?
All these chemicals raise serotonin in your brain & basically do same thing, to releive depression & anxiety.
Would advise one at a time.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
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Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry
In brief: Supplement
Would not recommend together, since they all raise serotonin levels, and if used same time, can trigger serotonin syndrome.

In brief: Supplement
Would not recommend together, since they all raise serotonin levels, and if used same time, can trigger serotonin syndrome.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
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