Evaluation of the efficacy of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) root extract in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
Methods: Thirty patients with a confirmed diagnosis of OCD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) criteria participated in this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial and were randomly assigned to the treatment group (W. somnifera extract, 120mg/day; n=15) or the placebo group (n=15). All patients were under treatment with Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), and were instructed to take 4 capsules of the extract or placebo per day, preferably after meals, for a period of six weeks. The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was used in order to assess the severity of OCD symptoms at baseline and at the end of the trial. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software and Y-BOCS values were presented as median and range (Min-Max).
Results: Comparison of the change in Y-BOCS score during the course of the trial revealed a significantly greater effect of W. somnifera (26 (14-40) [pre-treatment] versus 14 (4-40) [post-treatment]; change: -8 (-23 to 0)) versus placebo (18 (11-33) [pre-treatment] versus 16 (10-31) [post-treatment]; change: -2 (-4 to 0)) (P<0.001). The extract was safe and no adverse event was reported during the trial.
Conclusion: W. somnifera extract may be beneficial as a safe and effective adjunct to SSRIs in the treatment of OCD.
Complement Ther Med. 2016 Aug;27:25-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.018. Epub 2016 Apr 9. PMID: 27515872