Recent studies found omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in brain cell membranes of schizophrenic patients. Conventional antipsychotics have many adverse reactions. Safety, availability and low price made omega-3 as a potential supplement for treatment of these patients. This study investigated the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid as add-on treatment in schizophrenia.

A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled fixed-dose, add-on clinical trialconducted over 8 weeks. 60 patients with documented schizophrenia randomly divided into two groups: omega-3(1000 mg/day) (n=30) and placebo (n=30). Patients received omega-3 or placebo in addition to their standard antipsychotic treatment. Patient follow up was done using Positive and Negative syndrome Scale (PANSS). Data analyzed using SPSS software v.20.

At the end of 8 weeks treatment, PANSS score decreased significantly in both groups (p<0.05) in comparison to baseline. Efficacy of omega-3 in decreasing general psychopathologic and total scores was significant in comparison to placebo group from 4 and 6 weeks after onset of treatment, respectively (p<0.05). Totally, omega-3 supplement therapy efficacy in comparison to sole conventional antipsychotics was 0.86 which was not significant (p>0.05).

we found that supplemental omega-3 might increase efficacy of conventional antipsychotics in decreasing symptoms of schizophrenia. Low price, rare adverse reactions and availability of omega-3 made this substance a potential supplement in improved treatment of schizophrenia