Omega-3 fatty acids as adjunctive therapy for depression.
|Article Type:||Brief article|
(Care and treatment)
Omega-3 fatty acids (Health aspects)
|Author:||Gaby, Alan R.|
|Publication:||Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464|
|Issue:||Date: August-Sept, 2012 Source Issue: 349-350|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
Forty-two patients (mean age, 40.5 years) with major depressive
disorder, whose diet contained no more than 3 g per day of total omega-3
fatty acids, received 20 mg per day of citalopram (a selective
serotonin-reuptake inhibitor) and were randomly assigned to receive
omega-3 fatty acids (1.8 g per day of eicosapentaenoic acid and 0.4 g
per day of docosahexaenoic acid, in 2 divided doses per day) or placebo
(olive oil) for 8 weeks. After the first 4 weeks, the dosage of
citalopram could be increased to 40 mg per day if clinically
appropriate. The proportion of patients who achieved full remission
(Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score < 7) was greater in the
active-treatment group than in the placebo group (44% vs. 18%). The
proportion of patients who did not improve was lower in the
active-treatment group than in the placebo group (11 % vs. 50%;
p<0.02 for the overall treatment effect, active vs. placebo). A
significant difference between treatments was evident after 4 weeks, but
not after 2 weeks. At 4 weeks, nonsignificantly more patients in the
active treatment group than in the placebo group increased the dosage of
citalopram (61% vs. 50%; p=0.5).
Comment: Some studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the treatment of depression, but other trials have shown little or no effect. The results of the present study indicate the combination of citalopram and omega-3 fatty acids is significantly more effective than citalopram alone in the treatment of major depressive disorder.
Gertsik L et al. Omega-3 fatty acid augmentation of citalopram treatment for patients with major depressive disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. Epub 2011 Dec 22.
by Alan R. Gaby, MD
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|