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S D Med. 2008 May;61(5):173-7.

Case of acute psychosis from herbal supplements.

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South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy, Brookings, SD, USA.


A recent study estimates that 15.2 percent of American adults use nonprescription dietary supplements for weight loss. Sale of ephedrine- and ephedrine-alkaloid-containing products was prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration in February 2004 after research demonstrated an increased risk of arrhythmia, mortality and hypertension following use of products containing these sympathomimetics. Subsequently, nutritional supplement manufacturers have turned to other products to promote weight loss. The following paper reports a case study of a 28-year-old woman with no prior psychiatric history who was hospitalized secondary to an acute psychotic episode. The patient reported starting several weight-loss and nutritional sports supplements approximately one week prior to admission. The relationship between the onset of psychosis and the initiation of the dietary supplements strongly suggests a correlation exists. Heightened consumer education regarding the contents of dietary supplements, along with their potential for causing adverse effects when used alone or in combination with other medications, is warranted. Patients who choose to take dietary supplements should be encouraged to inform their health care providers about the supplements they are taking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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