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J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1994 Mar;19(2):114-9.

Tryptophan in the treatment of late luteal phase dysphoric disorder: a pilot study.

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St. Mary's Hospital, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


Thirteen patients diagnosed during two menstrual cycles as suffering from late luteal phase dysphoric disorder were then followed in an open pilot study for a further three cycles. During one complete cycle, baseline levels of symptoms were obtained. During the next three cycles, the patients were treated with L-tryptophan, six grams per day. L-tryptophan treatment was associated with a significant amelioration of symptoms with only mild side effects. These data suggest that L-tryptophan should be tested at a dose of six grams of L-tryptophan per day in a placebo-controlled study in patients with late luteal phase dysphoric disorder who suffer from symptoms such as depression, irritability, insomnia and carbohydrate craving, which may respond to potentiation of serotonin function.

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