The efficacy of the antioxidant silymarin in preventing psychotropic drug-induced hepatic damage was evaluated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Sixty patients receiving chronic psychotropic drug therapy were randomly divided into four groups and were treated for 90 days with silymarin or placebo as follows: group IA-treatment with psychotropic drugs and silymarin, 800 mg/d; group IB-treatment with psychotropic drugs and placebo; group IIA-suspension of psychotropic drugs plus treatment with silymarin, 800 mg/d; and group IIB-suspension of psychotropic drugs plus treatment with placebo. Serum levels of malon-dialdehyde (the end product of the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids) and the indices of hepatocellular function were assessed in each patient at baseline (day 0), on days 15, 30, 60, and 90, and 1 month after the completion of treatment. Our data show that silymarin, when used at submaximal doses, reduces the lipoperoxidative hepatic damage that occurs during treatment with butyrophenones or phenothiazines. The study results also suggest that increased lipoperoxidation may contribute to psychotropic drug-induced hepatotoxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas