Department of Psychiatry
Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry
BACKGROUND: Dietary supplements are taken by about half of Americans. Knowledge of dietary supplement use is important because they may interact with prescription drugs or other supplements, cause adverse reactions including psychiatric symptoms, or contain inherently toxic ingredients or contaminants. This study explores the use of dietary supplements by patients with bipolar disorder in the US.
METHODS: Data were obtained from an ongoing, naturalistic study of patients with bipolar disorder who received pharmacological treatment as usual. The patients self-reported their daily mood, sleep, and medications taken, including all drugs prescribed for bipolar disorder or that the patient felt impacted their mood. These included other prescribed drugs, over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements. Drugs that received premarketing approval from the FDA were not included as dietary supplements. Patient demographics and daily medication use were characterized.
RESULTS: Data were available from 348 patients in the US who returned a mean 249.5 days of data. In addition to prescribed psychiatric drugs, 101 of the 348 patients (29 %) used a dietary supplement for at least 7 days and 69 (20 %) used a supplement long term (for at least 50 % of days). Of the 101 supplement users, 72 (71.3 %) took one supplement daily. The 101 patients tried over 40 different supplements, and the long-term users took 19 different supplements. The most commonly taken supplements for both groups were fish oil, B vitamins, melatonin, and multivitamins. Patients using supplements were more likely to be white (p < 0.001), older (p = 0.009), and ill for more years (p = 0.025).
CONCLUSIONS: Many patients with bipolar disorder use dietary supplements in addition to prescribed drugs. Physicians should obtain detailed information about all dietary supplements taken by patients with bipolar disorder.
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Citation: Int J Bipolar Disord. 2015 Dec;3(1):29. doi: 10.1186/s40345-015-0029-x. Epub 2015 Jun 2. Link to article on publisher's site
Bauer, Michael; Glenn, Tasha; Conell, Jorn; Rasgon, Natalie; Marsh, Wendy K.; Sagduyu, Kemal; Munoz, Rodrigo; Lewitzka, Ute; Bauer, Rita; Pilhatsch, Maximilian; Monteith, Scott; and Whybrow, Peter C., "Common use of dietary supplements for bipolar disorder: a naturalistic, self-reported study" (2015). University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. 837.
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