Depression is an unwelcomed guest with many diseases. Illness often affects our outlook and attitude towards life in a negative manner, and is something we should all be conscious about. A significant correlation exists between coronary artery diseases and depression. The aim of this trial was to compare the safety and efficacy of saffron versus fluoxetine antidepressant in improving depressive symptoms of patients who were suffering from depression after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

In this randomized double-blind parallel-group study, 40 patients with a diagnosis of mild to moderate depression who had undergone PCI in the last six months were randomized to receive either fluoxetine in the treatment(40mg/day) or saffron supplement (30mg/day) capsules for six weeks. Participants were evaluated by Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS) at weeks 3 and 6 and the adverse events were systemically recorded.

By the study endpoint, no significant difference was detected between two groups in the reduction of HDRS scores. Remission and response rates were not significantly different as well respectively, nor was there a significant difference between the two groups in the frequency of adverse events during this trial. ((Nazila Shahmansouri, Mehdi Farokhnia, Seyed-Hesammeddin Abbasi, Seyed Ebrahim Kassaian, Ahmad-Ali Noorbala Tafti, Amirhossein Gougol, Habibeh Yekehtaz, Saeedeh Forghani, Mehran Mahmoodian, Sepideh Saroukhani, et al. A randomized, double-blind, clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Crocus sativus L. with fluoxetine for improving mild to moderate depression in post percutaneous coronary intervention patients. Journal Affect Disorder 2014 Feb; 155: 216–222. Published online 2013 Nov 16.doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.11.003)) (Read more about Saffron Heart Health and Cardiovascular Disease) There are different pathophysiological mechanisms for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as suggested by the serotonergic, dopaminergic, and glutamatergic hypotheses. This present study aimed at comparing the efficacy and safety of saffron (dried stigmas of Crocus Sativus) and fluvoxamine antidepressant in the treatment of mild to moderate obsessive- compulsive disorder.

In this study, 50 males and females, aged 18 to 60 years, with mild to moderate OCD were randomly assigned to receive either saffron (30 mg/day, 15 mg twice a day) or fluvoxamine (100 mg/day) for 10 weeks. Using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the Adverse Event Checklist, patients were assessed at baseline, and at the second, fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenth week. Finally, data was analyzed using general linear repeated measures. 46 patients completed the trial. General linear repeated measures demonstrated no significant effect for time-treatment interaction on the Y-BOCS total scores, obsession Y-BOCS subscale scores, and compulsion Y-BOCS subscale scores. Frequency of adverse events was not significantly different between the 2 groups.

These findings suggest that saffron is as effective as the antidepressant medication fluvoxamine in the treatment of mild to moderate OCD in patients. ((Esalatmanesh S, Biuseh M, Noorbala AA, et al. Comparison of Saffron and Fluvoxamine in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Double Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry. 2017;12(3):154-162.)) Read more – Saffron Supplement  for Depression

  1. Nazila Shahmansouri, Mehdi Farokhnia, Seyed-Hesammeddin Abbasi, Seyed Ebrahim Kassaian, Ahmad-Ali Noorbala Tafti, Amirhossein Gougol, Habibeh Yekehtaz, Saeedeh Forghani, Mehran Mahmoodian, Sepideh Saroukhani, et al. A randomized, double-blind, clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Crocus sativus L. with fluoxetine for improving mild to moderate depression in post percutaneous coronary intervention patients. Journal Affect Disorder 2014 Feb; 155: 216–222. Published online 2013 Nov 16.doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.11.003
  2. Esalatmanesh S, Biuseh M, Noorbala AA, et al. Comparison of Saffron and Fluvoxamine in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Double Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry. 2017;12(3):154-162.

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