Beneficial Antipsychotic Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Add-On Therapy for the Pharmacological Management of Patients With Schizophrenia


Ali Manteghiy 1 , * , Mohammad Taghi Shakeri 2 , Laleh Koohestani 2 , Elham Salari 2

1 Ibn-E-Sina Psychiatric Hospital, Bue Ali square, Ameli Ave., Mashhad University of Medical Science and Health Services, Mashhad, Iran

2 Mashhad University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Mashhad, Iran

How to Cite: Manteghiy A, Shakeri M T, Koohestani L, Salari E. Beneficial Antipsychotic Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Add-On Therapy for the Pharmacological Management of Patients With Schizophrenia, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2008 ; 2(2):35-40.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 2 (2); 35-40
Published Online: July 31, 2008
Article Type: Original Article
Received: June 03, 2008
Accepted: July 10, 2008


Objective: It has been shown that serum and red blood cells’ level of Omega-3 fatty acids are low in people with schizophrenia. Many studies have, therefore, attempted to explore the beneficial effects of these substances in the management of Schizophrenia. However, the outcomes of the previous studies have not been clear cut.The present study is an attempt to retest this hypothesis by eliminating some of the limitations of the previous studies.

Methods: In a prospective double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, 85 inpatients with schizophrenia randomly assigned to either risperidone plus Omega-3 or risperidone plus placebo. After a washout period, 44 patients received 2-8 mg/day of risperidone plus placebo and 43 patients received risperidone plus 3 gr/day of Omega-3 for 6 weeks. The treatment effect was calculated by Friedman, Mann Whitney and t test. There were no significant differences between groups in age, sex, education, duration of illness and the number of previous hospitalizations.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the scores of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale between two groups at weeks 0, 3 and 6 and for the whole duration of the study.

Conclusion: In our study, Omega-3 fatty acids had no superiority to placebo in reducing the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. However, due to a short duration of our study, we recommend that more long term clinical trials are needed in order to develop a better understanding of the therapeutic effects of the Omega-3 fatty acids in the pharmacological management of schizophrenia.


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