Objectives: To evaluate the effect of the anthroposophic drug hepar magnesium D10 intravenously administered on seasonal fatigue symptoms.
Design: Time series with two measurements per week, starting before onset of treatment until three measurements after finishing treatment in a regular way.
Settings: Six anthroposophic general practitioner practices in the Netherlands.
Subjects: Twenty-three (23) patients with seasonal fatigue symptoms.
Interventions: Hepar magnesium D10 intravenously administered every week.
Outcome measures: Mean division of 24 hours in categories: sleep, rest, everyday activities, and activities that require a large effort; fatigue-related single questions: unusual emotional response to events, problems with short-term memory, the degree to which fatigue after effort continues for longer than 2 hours, the degree to which people at the end of the day have a complete lack of energy; and the degree to which people are still fit after the evening meal; Multidimensional Fatigue Index: general fatigue, physical fatigue, reduced activity, reduced motivation, and mental fatigue; subjective experiences with regard to the effect of the treatment.
Results: (1) No changes in division in 24-hour categories were found; (2) pretreatment versus post-treatment analyses (after 1 and 2.5 weeks, at the end of treatment, and 1.5 weeks after the end of treatment) demonstrated overall large statistically significant differences. Eighteen (18) of 22 patients (82%) who completed the final questionnaire judged that treatment overall had been effective for their fatigue symptoms. Nine (9) patients (41%) judged a strong improvement and 9 patients (41%) a light improvement as a result of the treatment. Four (4) patients reported no change. On average, patients received treatment 4.5 times.
Conclusions: There are clear indications that hepar magnesium D10 intravenously administered can have a positive effect on subsyndromal seasonal affective disorder symptoms of fatigue. A more controlled trial is indicated to study the (long-term) effects of hepar magnesium.