A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Extract of Ginkgo biloba Added to Haloperidol in Treatment-Resistant Patients With Schizophrenia
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(11):878-883
© Copyright 2017 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: Many studies have indicated that excess free radical formation may be involved in the
pathogenesis of patients with schizophrenia. Some investigators
suggested that the use of free radical scavengers might provide
improvement in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to
determine the effectiveness and to evaluate the side effects of
extract of Ginkgo biloba (EGb) plus haloperidol in
chronic, treatment-resistant inpatients with schizophrenia.
Method: One hundred nine patients meeting
DSM-III-R criteria for schizophrenia completed a double-blind,
placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of EGb plus haloperidol.
Fifty-six of the patients were randomly assigned to receive a
fixed dose of 360 mg/day of EGb plus a stable dose of
haloperidol, 0.25 mg/kg/day, and 53 were assigned to receive
placebo plus the same dose of haloperidol for 12 weeks. Patients
were assessed using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS),
the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS), and the
Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) at baseline,
week 6, and week 12 and the Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale
(TESS) for side effects at week 12.
Results: There was a significant reduction in
both groups in BPRS total score after 12 weeks of treatment (p
< .05). However, a significant reduction in total SAPS and
SANS scores was noted in the EGb group (p < .05), but not in
the placebo group. There was a lower SAPS total score in the EGb
group than in the placebo group at the end of 12 weeks of
treatment (p < .05). Of those treated with EGb plus
haloperidol, 57.1% were rated as responders as compared with only
37.7% of those receiving placebo plus haloperidol when assessed
by the SAPS (chi2 = 4.111, p = .043). After 12 weeks
of treatment, TESS subscore 1 (behavioral toxicity) and subscore
3 (symptoms of nerve system) were significantly decreased in the
EGb group compared with the placebo group (p < .05).
Conclusion: EGb treatment may enhance the
effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs and reduce their
extrapyramidal side effects.