Supplementation of vitamin C with atypical antipsychotics reduces oxidative stress and improves the outcome of schizophrenia

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Nov;182(4):494-8. doi: 10.1007/s00213-005-0117-1. Epub 2005 Oct 19.


Rationale: Several investigators implicated role of free radical-mediated pathology in schizophrenia. No study has ever examined the effect of vitamin C with atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of oral vitamin C with atypical antipsychotics on serum malondialdehyde (MDA), plasma ascorbic acid levels, and brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS) score in schizophrenic patients.

Method: Forty schizophrenic patients participated in a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, noncrossover, 8-week study. The patients with schizophrenia were divided randomly into placebo and vitamin C group of 20 each. Serum MDA and plasma ascorbic acid were estimated by methods of Nischal and Aye, respectively.

Result: Increased serum MDA and decreased plasma ascorbic acid levels were found in schizophrenic patients. These levels were reversed significantly after treatment with vitamin C along with atypical antipsychotics compared to placebo with atypical antipsychotics. BPRS change scores at 8 weeks improved statistically significant with vitamin C as compared to placebo.

Conclusion: Oral supplementation of vitamin C with atypical antipsychotic reverses ascorbic acid levels, reduces oxidative stress, and improves BPRS score, hence both the drugs in combination can be used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antipsychotic Agents / blood
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / blood
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Ascorbic Acid