A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial of omega-3 fatty acids and inositol as monotherapies and in combination for the treatment of pediatric bipolar spectrum disorder in children age 5-12

Janet Wozniak, Abigail Farrell, Maura Disalvo, Atilla Ceranoglu, Mai Uchida, Carrie Vaudreuil, Gagan Joshi, Stephen V. Faraone, Emmaline Cook, Joseph Biederman

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and tolerability of omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) and inositol alone and in combination for the treatment of pediatric bipolar (BP) spectrum disorder in young children. Methods: Participants were male and female children ages 5-12 meeting DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for a BP spectrum disorder and displaying mixed, manic, or hypomanic symptoms without psychotic features at the time of evaluation. Results: Participants concomitantly taking psychotropic medication were excluded from efficacy analyses. There were significant reductions in YMRS and HDRS mean scores in the inositol and combination treatment groups (all p 0.05) and in CDRS mean scores in the combination treatment group (p 0.001), with the largest changes seen in the combination group. Those receiving the combination treatment had the highest rates of antimanic and antidepressant response. The odds ratios for the combination group compared to the omega-3 FAs and inositol groups were clinically meaningful (ORs •2) for 50% improvement on the YMRS, normalization of the YMRS (score 12) (vs. inositol group only), 50% improvement on the HDRS, 50% improvement on CDRS (vs. omega-3 FAs group only), and CGI-I Mania, CGI-I MDD, and CGI-I Anxiety scores 2. Conclusion: The antimanic and antidepressant effects of the combination treatment of omega-3 FAs and inositol were consistently superior to either treatment used alone. This combination may offer a safe and effective alternative or augmenting treatment for youth with BP spectrum disorder, but more work is needed to confirm the statistical significance of this finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages21
JournalPsychopharmacology Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Natural supplements
  • Pediatric
  • Pediatric bipolar
  • Psychopharmacology

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