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Anxiety-Inducing Dietary Supplements: A Review of Herbs and Other Supplements with Anxiogenic Properties

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2014.510109    3,442 Downloads   4,367 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Anxiety disorders comprise the most common group of mental disorders to affect the general population in the United States. These disorders are heterogeneous in nature, highly comorbid with one another, and pose a degree of difficulty regarding diagnosis and management. The exact etiology and pathophysiology of anxiety remains to be elucidated; however, it is likely that it is multifactorial, and all potential causes of anxiety must be investigated, including substance-induced anxiety. Among substances that may induce anxiety are dietary supplements. As utilization of these products appears to be high in the US population, it is important to identify which of available supplements may cause anxiety. Objective: To review the scientific literature to identify dietary supplements associated with induction of anxiety and related symptoms. Methods: A search of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, MedlinePlus Herbs and Supplements, and Natural Standard was performed to identify dietary supplements with anxiogenic properties. Dietary supplements were included based on product availability, utilization trends, and if there was sufficient evidence that the substance could elicit anxiety via direct pharmacologic effects. Agents were excluded from the review if anxiety was solely due to withdrawal from the substance or only occurred in the setting of intoxication. A search of MEDLINE and PUBMED was performed to identify relevant peer reviewed publications concerning induction of anxiety and/or its associated symptoms by those dietary supplements chosen for review. Conclusions: Dietary supplements can contribute to and cause anxiety and its related symptoms via overstimulation of the Central Nervous System. Healthcare professionals should screen all patients presenting with symptoms consistent with anxiety for recent or current use of all products capable of inducing anxiety, including dietary supplements.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

McCarthy, C. , Candelario, D. and Liu, M. (2014) Anxiety-Inducing Dietary Supplements: A Review of Herbs and Other Supplements with Anxiogenic Properties. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 5, 966-981. doi: 10.4236/pp.2014.510109.

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