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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2020, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (5): 409-415.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.06.002

• Original Chinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Lavender and dodder combined herbal syrup versus citalopram in major depressive disorder with anxious distress: A double-blind randomized trial

Toktam Sadat Firoozeeia, Majid Barekatainb, Mehrdad Karimia, Arman Zargaranc, Shahin Akhondzadehd, Hossein Rezaeizadeha   

  1. a Department of Persian Medicine, School of Persian Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1668753961, Iran
    b Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 8145831451, Iran
    c Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Persian Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1668753961, Iran
    d Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1449614353, Iran
  • Received:2020-01-12 Accepted:2020-05-15 Online:2020-09-10 Published:2020-06-15
  • Contact: Hossein Rezaeizadeha E-mail:rezaeizadeh@sina.tums.ac.ir

Background
Major depressive disorder (MDD) accompanied by anxious distress is a chronic and disabling disorder. Its conventional drug therapies often have low patient compliance due to drug-related side effects. In Persian medicine, lavender-dodder syrup is one formula often recommended for such disorders.

Objective
This study compares the effects of lavender-dodder syrup to the standard drug, citalopram, for treating MDD with anxious distress.

Design, setting, participants and intervention
This six-week, double-blind, randomized, clinical trial was carried out in a psychiatric outpatient clinic. During the six-week intervention period, patients in citalopram group received citalopram tablets 20 mg/d plus 5 mL placebo syrup every 12 h; patients in group B received placebo tablets once daily plus 5 mL of lavender-dodder herbal syrup every 12 h.

Main outcome measures
Primary outcome measures, depression and anxiety, were evaluated using the Hamilton Depression/Anxiety Rating Scales, and were scored at the beginning of the study and at weeks three and six. Secondary outcome measures including response to treatment and remission rates were also compared between the two groups.

Results
Fifty-six participants with MDD and anxious distress were randomly assigned to two groups. Mean depression scores significantly decreased in citalopram and herbal groups at weeks three and six (time effect: P < 0.001), although the observed changes were not significantly different between the groups (intervention effect: P = 0.61). Mean anxiety scores were not significantly different between the two groups at week three (P = 0.75). However, at the end of week six, the observed decrease was significantly higher in the herbal syrup group than the citalopram group (intervention effect: P = 0.007).

Conclusion
The herbal syrup is an effective and tolerable supplement for treating MDD with anxious distress.

Key words: Persian medicine, Traditional medicine, Anxiety, Depression, Phytotherapy

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