Effects of Passion Flower Extract, as an Add-On Treatment to Sertraline, on Reaction Time in Patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study
Objective: Because of functional impairment caused by generalized anxiety disorder and due to cognitive side effects of many anti-anxiety agents, in this study we aimed to evaluate the influence of Passion flower standardized extract on reaction time in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Method: Thirty patients aged 18 to 50 years of age, who were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and fulfilled the study criteria, entered this double-blind placebo-controlled study. Reaction time was measured at baseline and after one month of treatment using computerized software. Correct responses, omission and substitution errors and the mean time of correct responses (reaction time) in both visual and auditory tests were collected. The analysis was performed between the two groups and within each group utilizing SPSS PASW- statics, Version 18. P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: All the participants were initiated on Sertraline 50 mg/day, and the dosage was increased to 100 mg / day after two weeks. Fourteen patients received Pasipy (Passion Flower) 15 drops three times daily and 16 received placebo concurrently. Inter-group comparison proved no significant difference in any of the test items between assortments while a significant decline was observed in auditory omission errors in passion flower group after on month of treatment using intra-group analysis. Conclusion: This study noted that passion flower might be suitable as an add-on in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder with low side effects. Further studies with longer duration are recommended to confirm the results of this study..
Keywords: Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Mental Processing; Passion Flower; Reaction Time; Sertraline.