BACKGROUND: Studies on alternative medicines for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are few. Manasamitra Vataka (an Ayurveda preparation) is explored for its efficacy in patients with GAD with comorbid generalized social phobia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-two (72) patients with GAD with comorbid social phobia meeting DSM IV TR criteria, and who were between the ages of 20 and 55 of either sex, participated in the study. They were randomly divided into three treatment groups: Group 1 (n=24) and Group II (n=24) received Manasamitra Vataka tablets (100 mg twice daily for 30 days). Group II, in addition to Manasamitra Vataka, underwent Shirodhara (therapy involving dripping of medicated oil [Brahmi tail] over the forehead) treatment for the first 7 days. Group III (n=24) received clonazepam 0.75 mg daily in divided dose for 30 days. The assessment of the study was done using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), World Health Organization Quality of Life BREF, and Clinical Global Impression scales (Improvement and Efficacy).
RESULTS: Patients from all the groups showed significant reduction in clinical parameters evaluated. However, improvement in ESS was observed only in Group II. The treatment outcome was comparable between the three groups.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study conducted on the efficacy of Manasamitra Vataka in anxiety disorders. The results suggest that Manasamitra Vataka is effective in the management GAD with comorbid generalized social phobia. Add-on effect of Shirodhara reduced the daytime sleepiness. Further studies on Manasamitra Vataka need to be carried out to judge its potential as a first-line treatment modality.