Abstract

In the world of modernization, getting help from modern science for diseases is justified. But have you ever thought that the drugs you take are exactly what they do to your body? What we tend to ask is that have you ever thought about the mechanism that is followed by these synthetic drugs to give you some amount of relaxation. As mentioned before, getting help is justified but not thinking about the consequences is justified as well? If you ask, well the answer is a clear and a big "NO". Reason for this denial is, synthetic drugs are no doubt instant but they are addictive and can make you suffer more than you have ever thought. So, in this article we will discuss one of the commonly used antipsychotic drugs and its name is Clozapine along with some of the best alternatives in Ayurveda.

Clozapine

Introduction

Clozapine is an antipsychotic drug, as mentioned before and is used in the treatment of psychological disorders like schizophrenia. The medication does give results but its use comes with a cost. The regular intake of clozapine is used in certain mental disorders along with some mood disorders too. This medication helps in restoring the balance of certain natural substances called neurotransmitters in the brain. It also decreases hallucinations and suicidal thoughts in patients. But the question is how? When we ask how then we came to know that what is the cost one has to pay of using this medication. So, in this article further many of the details related to this drug will be discussed so keep reading!

Mechanism of Clozapine working

Clozapine is atypical second generation antipsychotic which are primarily used in the treatment of treatment resistant schizophrenia along with recurrent suicidal behaviors in schizophrenic or schizoeffective patients. The mechanism by which clozapine exerts its effect involves the blocking of some specific serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a key hormone which is used to stabilise your mood, feeling of well being along with happiness. Serotonin is also helpful in sleeping, eating and digestion. Basically it impacts the whole body. With specific serotonin blocking of a specific dopamine receptor is also done by the Clozapine. Dopamine is something that regulates the mood and is responsible for mood regulation as well. In addition, dopamine regulates muscle movements and plays a vital role in the brain's pleasure and rewards systems.

And after going through its mechanism there is a need to know about its adverse effects.

Adverse effects of Clozapine

Clozapine has many side effects or adverse effects which may vary from mild to severe. The adverse effects includes:

  • Hypersalivation
  • Increased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Myocarditis
  • Agranulocytosis
  • Its rare side effects include dystonias, neuroleptic malignant syndrome and seizures
  • Weight gain due to excessive eating
  • Dry mouth sometimes
  • Increased sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness and tremors
  • Headache including vision problems
  • Lack of libido
  • Low concentration

Now after going through the adverse effects of clozapine, you might have got this point that use of clozapine comes with a cost. It's totally understandable that a patient and its relatives want something which gives instant relief but at the cost of what? Use of this drug for a longer duration can give results which is something which is not being planned by any relative for their patient and even not by the patient.

From here on, we now know the importance of Ayurvedic herbs. The Ayurvedic herb does not cause any kind of receptor blocking but instead helps in balancing the hampered working. Moreover, Ayurvedic science also suggests some treatments which are related to mana. Mana is considered as the software which includes emotions and feelings along with decisions. On the other hand the brain is considered as the hardware, so when there is hampered working of software then obviously the hardware will suffer. The Ayurveda believes that before giving something for hardware it is very important to repair software. This includes trivid chikitsa mentioned in the Ayurveda classics.

The Trivid Chikitsa Includes

1. Daivavyapashraya Chikitsa

This chikitsa means the treatment based on believing in divine power and divine remedies. It includes mantra chanting, wearing aushadhi vanaspati on body, manidharan (wearing gems), mangala (auspicious things), homa (fire sacrifice), niyama (rigid living), prayashchit (confession), upavasa (fasting) and some other things too.

2. Yukti Vyapashraya Chikitsa

Yukti basically means intelligence or skill, yukti vyapashraya chikitsa means a treatment that is given after understanding the condition, analysing the aggravated dosha and dushya then carrying forward with the treatment part. This includes administration of herbal and herbomineral formulations along with some lifestyle modifications. In addition, diet is also guided, the food is preferred which has opposite qualities to the aggravated dosha. Yukti vyapashraya includes sanshaman and sanshodhan treatment. San Shaman chikitsa is administration of herbal or herbo mineral medicines internally and sanshodhan chikitsa includes techniques of panchkarma.

3. Satvavajaya Chikitsa

Satyavijay, in the word satva means mind and avajaya means to win or to conquer. The purpose of this chikitsa is to gain control over the mind and it's entities like stress, anxiety, emotions etc. this include patient counselling, meditating, making patient understand things which he or she is confused about.

Now as we have discussed the trividh chikitsa, now it's time to discuss yukti vayapashraya chikitsa in detail in psychiatry patients.

Yukti Vayapashraya Chikitsa is divided into two parts

  1. San Shaman Chikitsa
  2. Sanshodhan Chikitsa

1. San Shaman Chikitsa

Sanshaman chikitsa includes administration of herbal and herbomineral formulations. The herbs that are mostly preferred in this scenario are:

  1. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
  2. Brahmi which is known to calm down the mind and relieve anxiety along with stress, is a very powerful herb. Its work does not end here only, in fact its impact is over whole neurotransmission and also on the electric signals exchanging between the neurons. Brahmi is a marvellous memory booster as well. The herb is available in the form of capsules, vati or tablets and also in ghrita form along with some more effective herbs.

  3. Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus prostratus)
  4. Shankhpushpi is also a herb which includes the medya rasyan and has excellent work in enhancing and maintaining a very deep concentration. The herb has its effect on digestion as well and excellently pacifies dosha responsible for imbalance. It acts as a tonic for the software that is mana and also lowers the levels of adrenaline which is responsible for racing heart and heart beat, palpitations and others. The herb is available in capsule form or in syrup form.

  5. Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
  6. As we all know that many of the psychiatric conditions involve vata along with some other dosha and dushya. But the presence of vata is there and for that jatamansi plays a very great role. It pacifies the aggravated vata dosha. The excessive neurotransmission is controlled by this herb and it also helps in increasing the serotonin levels in the brain, which as mentioned before is responsible for better mood, less anxiety and nervousness.

  7. Vacha (Acorus calamus)
  8. Vacha has neuroprotective properties and also has antioxidant properties. Vacha fights against the free radicals and hence protects the brain from their harmful effects. It affects the neural system working by preventing any kind of inflammation and improving behavioural changes. The herb effects all over mental performance.

In Addition some formulations like triphala churna, ashwagandha churna, sarpagandha churna along with some herbomineral formulations like smritisagar ras, chaturbhuj ras, unmad gaj kesari ras and ghrita formulations like kalyank ghrita, etc. are really effective formulations in all kind of psychiatric disorders.

2. Sanshodhan Chikitsa

Sanshodhan chikitsa is panchkarma techniques. In psychological disorders panchkarma techniques includes the use of shirodhara, sneha and swedana along with use of basti karma (medicated enema through anal region). In some cases sneha (Internal and external), Induced emetic procedure, purgative procedure, sudation therapy, medicated smoking, medical drops in nasal passage is really beneficial.

Some additions can also be done in order to control the patient and his or her behaviour. These techniques include:

  • Bandhan (to tie)
  • Avrodh (keeping in a dark room)
  • To surprise
  • To fast
  • Balancing the eating and lifestyle habits is also included

Diet Modifications

The diet modifications are really necessary to be done. These modification include the following

  1. Intake of aged rice
  2. Intake of aged wheat
  3. Barley
  4. Red rice
  5. Yellow lentils
  6. New or old cow's ghrit
  7. Consumption of rain water
  8. Pointed gourd (parval)
  9. Bottle gourd
  10. Ash gourd
  11. Bathua (Chenopodium album)
  12. Lady finger
  13. Jackfruit
  14. Grapes
  15. Raisins
  16. Pomegranate, oranges, mosami
  17. Anjeer (Fig), coconut
  18. Meat soup of wild animals

And certain things like alcohol consumption, excessive intake of meat products, buffalo's milk, hot peya, mustard oil, bitter dravya, bitter gourd, pickle etc. is to be avoided along with veg dharan is restricted especially urge to drink water, sleep and eat, sunlight, excessive lifting of weight and sextual activity is to be avoided as well.

Conclusion

As now we know all about Clozapine and its effect on the body along with the ayurvedic aspect of whole psychiatric science. Yes, it is true Ayurveda can do miracles in the field of psychiatry too and one cannot deny that. Ayurvedic is a science which needs to be explored instead of being researched. This field has answers to many unanswered questions. All you have to do is be curious, dig in and extract the knowledge you want. It is the science on which one can rely completely.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Vikram Chauhan is one of the best Ayurvedic doctor from Chandigarh, North India. Chandigarh is situated in north India about 200 miles north of New Delhi. Ayurvedic medicine is getting quiet popular now a days and Dr. Vikram Chauhan is leading Ayurvedist from Chandigarh having solved many complicated cases from North India as well as rest of the world. Know More about Dr. Vikram Chauhan www.PlanetAyurveda.com