Objective: Silexan is a lavender oil preparation in gelatine capsules containing 80 mg. We reviewed the clinical trials investigating the anxiolytic efficacy and tolerability of Silexan as well as its safety and potential for drug interactions.
Methods: Seven trials were included, among which four therapeutic trials had a treatment duration of 6 or 10 weeks.
Results: In patients with subsyndromal anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) an anxiolytic effect of Silexan was evident after 2 weeks. Patients treated with Silexan showed Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) total score decreases between 10.4 ± 7.1 and 12.0 ± 7.2 points at Week 6 and between 11.8 ± 7.7 and 16.0 ± 8.3 points at Week 10.
Conclusions: HAMA total score reductions between baseline and end of treatment were significantly superior to placebo in patients with subsyndromal anxiety and comparable to lorazepam in its starting dose in patients with GAD. Silexan had beneficial effects on typical co-morbidity symptoms of anxiety disorders, for example, disturbed sleep, somatic complaints, or decreased quality of life. Except for mild gastrointestinal symptoms, the drug was devoid of adverse effects and did not cause drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms at daily doses of 80 or 160 mg.