Influence of supplementation with vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin) in the treatment of patients with antidepressants: a narrative review




B-complex vitamins; Homocysteine; Depression; Drugs; Health teaching.


In Brazil, about 5.8% of the population is diagnosed with depression, and only 1/3 of these patients are undergoing treatment, due to the adverse effects of antidepressant medications that have driven new therapeutic strategies. In such patients, high concentrations of homocysteine, an amino acid with neurodegenerative properties, have been observed. Thus, therapeutic options that provide the maintenance of serum homocysteine levels within the reference values are becoming targets for the treatment of depression alone or in association with the usual antidepressants. This narrative review aims to evaluate the influence of supplementation with vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin) in the treatment of patients with antidepressants. It has been identified that these vitamins are important nutrients for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, as well as the reduction of homocysteine levels in the brain. Patients with depression, and being treated or not with antidepressants, achieved a significant improvement in their clinical condition when they received the supplementation of these two micronutrients, because they potentiated the effects of antidepressants, and decreased homocysteine levels in the blood circulation and the severity of depressive symptoms, mainly in those patients with high plasma homocysteine concentrations. It was concluded that the low cost of acquiring vitamins B9 and B12 is an important factor, and has raised the possibility of its inclusion in the treatment guidelines for depression in order to improve the efficiency of medicines and decrease the severity of symptoms.


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How to Cite

SOUSA, L. J. de R. .; PAULA, C. A. de .; ALMEIDA, M. E. F. de . Influence of supplementation with vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin) in the treatment of patients with antidepressants: a narrative review. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 7, p. e3611729445, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i7.29445. Disponível em: Acesso em: 6 jul. 2022.



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