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Discussion:
Inositol for panic/agoraphobia/anxiety
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I know some of my friends out here have anxiety/panic disorder, and I was wondering if anyone has tried Inositol? Let me give you a bit of information:

Inositol is a naturally occurring isomer of glucose, though it is generally considered to be a member of the B vitamin family. It is a key intermediate in the intracellular phosphatidyl inositol second messenger pathway activated by numerous serotonergic, cholinergic, and noradrenergic receptors. (1) In this capacity it serves as an important signal transduction molecule, but inositol is also a structural component of cellular membrane phospholipids. (2) Research indicates that inositol is an effective and safe option in the treatment of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa, binge eating and/or depression. (3-9) Inositol's efficacy, in the absence of side effects, makes this nutrient an attractive addition to treatment plans for specific mood disorders. Following is a scientific review of inositol for the treatment of mood disorders, including a discussion of its anecdotal use for the treatment of insomnia and its cautioned use by pregnant women for the prevention of neural tube defects and embryopathies.

Panic Disorder

Panic attacks are recurring attacks of severe anxiety without an apparent cause. Agoraphobia (irrational fear and avoidance of crowds, travel, and multiple situations), depression, alcohol abuse, and suicide are common symptoms and may be exacerbated by post-traumatic stress. Current treatments usually consist of antidepressant drugs and cognitive-behavioral therapy. (8)

Antidepressant medications affecting serotonin metabolism are effective about 70% of the time for dramatic, short-term improvement of anxiety symptoms. However, chronic residual symptoms often persist in the long term. 25-75% of patients with panic disorder discontinue drug treatment because of side effects, and these patients quickly relapse. (8) This has led researchers to study the effects of inositol on patients suffering from this condition.

In one study, (5) twenty-one patients diagnosed with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia were given 12 grams of inositol per day or placebo. In the treatment group, the severity and frequency of panic attacks declined significantly with minimal associated side effects. The average number of panic attacks per week in patients treated with inositol fell from 10 to 3.5 per week. The researchers concluded that these results were "clinically meaningful" in the management of panic attacks.

More recently, inositol was compared with the antidepressant fluvoxamine in the treatment of panic disorder. (8) This study represents a more stringent test of the effects of inositol in treating panic disorder because it is the first to compare inositol with an established antidepressant drug. In this study of 20 patients with panic disorder, inositol was found to be slightly but significantly more effective than fluvoxamine in reducing the number of panic attacks (p
Posted on 10/27/07, 04:21 pm
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Reply #1 - 10/27/07  4:21pm
" Sorry! Here's what got cut off!

More recently, inositol was compared with the antidepressant fluvoxamine in the treatment of panic disorder. (8) This study represents a more stringent test of the effects of inositol in treating panic disorder because it is the first to compare inositol with an established antidepressant drug. In this study of 20 patients with panic disorder, inositol was found to be slightly but significantly more effective than fluvoxamine in reducing the number of panic attacks (p "
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Reply #2 - 10/27/07  4:23pm
" Otherwise, it was comparable to fluvoxamine on all other measures (HAS, phobia, and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Scale). Since inositol appears to be as effective as fluvoxamine, patients may prefer it and continue to take it for the long term because side effects are extremely rare and mild.

Conclusion

Inositol's clinical efficacy coupled with the absence of significant side effects suggests that this nutrient may be an attractive addition to treatment plans for patients suffering from panic disorder, clinical depression, and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder. While inositol has shown benefit in some SSRI responsive conditions, it is not indicated as a replacement for SSRIs or as a treatment for all SSRI responsive conditions. Further research is necessary to elucidate the full potential of this natural compound in the treatment of mental illnesses and other conditions.

Ok, so after reading this, along with a bunch of other research, I've decided to buy Inositol, I think I'd be crazy not to! :) I bought it in 500 mg pills, so to get the efficacy some patients got I would need to take like 24 pills a day (1000 mg = 1 gram). Not liking that. What I'm going to do is start slow. Take 1 a day for a week, then 2, etc., and see if I start to notice improvement. This is considered one of the B vitamins, so it is a very safe component. I just need something, because I refuse to miss any more of my life than I have to. If any of you have tried it please let me know. It almost sounds too good to be true. Otherwise, I'll be the guinea pig. LOL :)

Much love, Kimi "
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Reply #3 - 10/27/07  7:59pm
" never heard of it. Interesting, Thanks "
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Reply #4 - 10/28/07  4:58pm
" Thank you for the information, will bring it up at my next check-up. I've been hoping for years that a more 'natural' alternative to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds would come along. I've often wondered about long term effects from prescription drugs. Keep us posted.... "
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Reply #5 - 07/23/08  5:25pm
" Hey!!! Just getting ready to order some of this. I was only gonna start out with 2mg per day but I wanted to talk to my doctor first. I am all about more natural ways to cope with panic disorder. Let me know if you find out more and I will do the same. Take it easy!! "
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Reply #6 - 07/23/08  9:57pm
" My capsules are 500 mg, not sure if you can get them in 2 mg...do you mean 2 grams (4 capsules?). I think if I remember they recommend like at least 4 grams or higher, but definitely check with the doc first, and I would totally start at a low dose...let me know how it works for you sweetie! :) "

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