Antipsychotic drugs are the mainstay of treatment for people with schizophrenia. Such medications may control hallucinations in the first few months of treatment, but long-term benefits are less obvious. Patients often relapse after several years.
Is There a Way to Boost Effectiveness of Antipsychotic Drugs?
A review of 18 studies has found that high-dose B vitamins may be a valuable addition to medications for schizophrenia such as Zyprexa, Abilify or Seroquel. The authors analyzed data from randomized clinical trials including 832 patients in all.
B Vitamins Worked Best:
They concluded that high doses of B vitamins, including B6 and B12, helped reduce psychiatric symptoms more than the placebo or control conditions. The earlier the patients started taking B vitamins, the better the outcomes. Antioxidant vitamins or mineral supplements did not make a difference.
The authors suggest that people who are depleted in certain B vitamins might get the greatest benefit from supplementation. They conclude, “Future studies should also explore the effects of combining beneficial nutrients within multi-nutrient formulas.” We should all welcome ways to make antipsychotic drugs more useful in helping people lead normal lives.
Antipsychotic drugs have a number of side effects that can be quite difficult to tolerate. You can learn what we wrote about Abilify side effects here. People with schizophrenia may need to take such medications despite adverse reactions. Others, however, should think twice before accepting a prescription for an antipsychotic intended to help an antidepressant work better.