A vital area that is extremely under-researched and therefore, not well understood, is the interference of diet and nutritional supplements on the therapeutic effects of various combinations of psychiatric medications including how the medications themselves interact. Physicians commonly utilize a combination of prescription medications in order to treat the various symptoms experienced by patients with mental health conditions. However, there is inadequate evidence about the extent to which the combinations keep patients well in the long-term. In addition, the tendency is to consider supplements as natural and presume that their effects are beneficial. In reality, supplements are chemicals that have positive and negative effects on our bodies much like prescription medication.
A recent study addressed these questions by examining the effectiveness of a combination of drugs versus a single drug as well as the influence of supplements. For example, findings indicated that patients treated with a combination of prescription medications bipolar disorder (quetiapine and lamotrigine) had fewer symptoms of depression and less episodes of relapse than those patients prescribed quetiapine alone. Unexpectedly, the study also suggested that taking folic acid which improves symptoms in pregnant patients with major depression who may be less willing to take prescription medications, may block the benefits of the combined treatment early on. If this can be replicated, it indicates that physicians may need to find alternative treatments for depression in women with bipolar disorder considering having a child. Drug trial rarely capture this type of effect. To add a further level of complexity, it seems likely that genes may affect this relationship as well. More in-depth data may be obtained via: http://theconversation.com/warning-vitamin-supplements-and-diet-could-seriously-mess-with-your-medication-52352. Overall, the findings emphasize the serious nature of this conundrum and the need to better comprehend the connection between diet and nutritional supplements and prescription medications.