Evaluation of oral zinc sulfate effect on obsessive-compulsive disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial

Nutrition. 2012 Sep;28(9):892-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.11.027. Epub 2012 Mar 30.


Objective: Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a common neuropsychiatric condition. Although various pharmaceutical agents are available for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychiatrists often find that many patients cannot tolerate the side effects of these medications, the patients do not respond properly to the treatment, or the medications lose their effectiveness after a period of treatment. The augmentation with safe supplementation of medication, such as with trace elements, may be a solution to some of these problems.

Methods: This study was a prospective, double-blinded, 8-wk trial. Twelve patients were given fluoxetine (20 mg/d) plus zinc (440 mg/d) and 11 patients were given fluoxetine plus placebo for 8 wk.

Results: Both groups showed a decrease in the mean Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale score. Based on t tests, in weeks 2 and 8, patients treated with fluoxetine plus zinc had significantly lower scores than those treated with fluoxetine plus placebo.

Conclusion: The results show that zinc, as adjuvant agent for obsessive-compulsive disorder, produces improved outcomes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Trace Elements / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zinc / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc Sulfate / therapeutic use*


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Trace Elements
  • Fluoxetine
  • Zinc Sulfate
  • Zinc