Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Unipolar Depression: A Placebo-Controlled Study and

Beata Ryszewska-Pokraśniewicz, Anna Mach, Michał Skalski, Piotr Januszko, Zbigniew M. Wawrzyniak, Ewa Poleszak, Gabriel Nowak, Andrzej Pilc and Maria Radziwoń-Zaleska
unipolar depression; magnesium; pharmaco-electroencephalography; efficacy; remission

Animal studies using tests and models have demonstrated that magnesium exerts an antidepressant effect. The literature contains few studies in humans involving attempts to augment antidepressant therapy with magnesium ions. The purpose of our study was to assess the efficacy and safety of antidepressant treatment, in combination with magnesium ions. A total of 37 participants with recurrent depressive disorder who developed a depressive episode were included in this study. As part of this double-blind study, treatment with the antidepressant fluoxetine was accompanied with either magnesium ions (120 mg/day as magnesium aspartate) or placebo. During an 8-week treatment period, each patient was monitored for any clinical abnormalities. Moreover, serum fluoxetine and magnesium levels were measured, and pharmaco-electroencephalography was performed. The fluoxetine + magnesium and fluoxetine + placebo groups showed no significant differences in either Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores or serum magnesium levels at any stage of treatment. Multivariate statistical analysis of the whole investigated group showed that the following parameters increased the odds of effective treatment: lower baseline HDRS scores, female gender, smoking, and treatment augmentation with magnesium. The parameters that increased the odds of remission were lower baseline HDRS scores, shorter history of disease, the presence of antidepressant-induced changes in the pharmaco-EEG profile at 6 h after treatment, and the fact of receiving treatment augmented with magnesium ions. The limitation of this study is a small sample size.