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Response to Antidepressants Aided by Folic Acid

December 1, 2000

1 Min Read
Response to Antidepressants Aided by Folic Acid

Response to Antidepressants Aided by Folic Acid

SURREY, England--In a study published in the November Journal of AffectiveDisorders (60(2):121-30, 2000), researchers at the MRC NeuropsychiatryLaboratory, based here, found that folic acid supplementation may greatlyimprove the antidepressant benefits of fluoxetine, found in the popular drugProzac.

In a 10-week investigation designed to study the co-administration of folicacid with fluoxetine, 127 patients diagnosed with clinical depression wererandomly assigned either 500 mcg of folic acid or a placebo to take with 20 mgof fluoxetine per day. Baseline and 10-week estimations of plasma folate andhomocysteine were conducted, and it was noted that there was a significantlygreater improvement in the fluoxetine plus folic acid group, particularly inwomen. Nearly 94 percent of women who received folic acid supplementation showedimprovement; in the placebo group, only 61 percent of women showed improvement.Also, the study noted that fewer adverse events were reported in the folic acidgroup (12.9 percent) than the placebo group (29.7 percent).

The study's researchers, led by A. Coppen from the MRC Lab, concluded thatfolic acid could probably benefit other antidepressant medications. In addition,men should consume a higher dose of folic acid to receive the sameantidepressant response experienced in women. For a copy of the study, visit www.ncbi.nlm.nih.govand conduct a keyword search using PubMed.

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