Objective: Symptoms of agitation, anxiety and insomnia are frequent among patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) during the first weeks of psychiatric care. But a substantial number of patients declines taking pharmaceutical medication to avoid side effects. Therefore, an alternative herbal medication is needed. Clinical studies demonstrated that lavender oil capsules, termed Lasea®, have an anxiolytic effect comparable to Lorazepam and significantly reduce insomnia and agitation in non-depressed patients. Therefore, the aim of this retrospective case series was to analyze the effectiveness of Lasea® for patients with MDD and symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and psychomotor agitation.
Design: Eight cases were analyzed retrospectively regarding the dosage, length of treatment, possible side effects and effectiveness of Lasea®.
Setting: All cases were treated at the Department of Psychiatry at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin in a naturalistic setting.
Main outcome measure: Effectiveness was measured by a change in the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD-17) total score and subscores.
Results: In 6 cases, the combination of Lasea® and an antidepressant resulted in a reduction of MDD. Lasea® also reduced agitation in 6 cases. Psychological anxiety was reduced in 5, somatic anxiety in 4 cases whereas sleep-onset and sleep-maintenance insomnia improved in 3 cases each.
Conclusions: The results demonstrate that Lasea® reduces some of the anxiety related symptoms and sleep disturbances in MDD patients. Furthermore Lasea® significantly reduces psychomotor agitation. Additionally, the results indicate a significant global improvement stemming from the combinational therapy of Lasea® and antidepressant medication.
Keywords: Agitation; Anxiety; Herbal pharmacotherapy; Insomnia; Lavendula oil; Major depressive disorder.
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