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  • The Review Course in Family Medicine

GUIDELINE ALERT: Nutraceuticals and Phytoceuticals for Treating Psychiatric Disorders

The International WFSBP and the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety disorders (CANMAT) updated evidence-based guidance on phytoceuticals (plant-based therapies) and nutraceuticals (nutrient-based therapies) in psychiatric disorders.

There are 2 therapies recommended with robust positive data:

1. Omega-3 fatty acids: for adjunctive therapy in Major depressive disorder

2. St. John’s Wort: for monotherapy in Major depressive disorder (mild-moderate)

No other phytoceuticals or nutraceuticals had strong robust evidence for treatment of anxiety disorders, schizophrenia or ADHD. Nutraceuticals and phytoceuticals can safely be used to augment therapies and to enhance outcomes. However, use caution when considering these therapies as monotherapy, especially in severe psychiatric disorders.

Quick Reference Guide

Image references:

Ashwagandha Roots, Piyush Kothari (2018). Taken from CC-BY-SA 4.0. No alterations or transformations were made. Small kava roots,Taryn (2014). Taken from: CC- BY-SA 2.0. No alterations or transformations were made. St. John’s wort, Dcrjsr (2014). Taken from: CC-BY-SA 4.0. No alterations or transformations were made. All other images taken from public domain.

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