Patients with psychotic disorders regularly use natural medicines, although it is unclear whether these are effective and safe. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of evidence for improved outcomes by natural medicines.
A systematic literature search was performed through Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Cochrane until May 2015.
In 110 randomized controlled trials, evidence was found for glycine, sarcosine, N-acetylcysteine, some Chinese and ayurvedic herbs, ginkgo biloba, estradiol, and vitamin B6 to improve psychotic symptoms when added to antipsychotics.
Ginkgo biloba and vitamin B6 seemed to reduce tardive dyskinesia and akathisia.
Results on other compounds were negative or inconclusive.
All natural agents, except reserpine, were well tolerated. Most study samples were small, study periods were generally short, and most results need replication. However, there is some evidence for beneficial effects of certain natural medicines.
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