Effects of Passion Flower Extract, as an Add-On Treatment to Sertraline, on Reaction Time in Patients ‎with Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study

Iran J Psychiatry. 2016 Jul;11(3):191-197.


Objective: Because of functional impairment caused by generalized anxiety disorder and due to cognitive side ‎effects of many anti-anxiety agents, in this study we aimed to evaluate the influence of Passion ‎flower standardized extract on reaction time in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.‎ Method: Thirty patients aged 18 to 50 years of age, who were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and ‎fulfilled the study criteria, entered this double-blind placebo-controlled study. Reaction time was ‎measured at baseline and after one month of treatment using computerized software. Correct ‎responses, omission and substitution errors and the mean time of correct responses (reaction time) in ‎both visual and auditory tests were collected. The analysis was performed between the two groups ‎and within each group utilizing SPSS PASW- statics, Version 18. P-value less than 0.05 was ‎considered statistically significant.‎ Results: All the participants were initiated on Sertraline 50 mg/day, and the dosage was increased to 100 ‎mg / day after two weeks. Fourteen patients received Pasipy (Passion Flower) 15 drops three times ‎daily and 16 received placebo concurrently. Inter-group comparison proved no significant difference ‎in any of the test items between assortments while a significant decline was observed in auditory ‎omission errors in passion flower group after on month of treatment using intra-group analysis.‎‎ Conclusion: This study noted that passion flower might be suitable as an add-on in the treatment of generalized ‎anxiety disorder with low side effects. Further studies with longer duration are recommended to ‎confirm the results of this study.‎.

Keywords: Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Mental Processing; Passion Flower; Reaction Time; Sertraline‎.