Anxiety, Depression, Antibiotics and Inositol

Warning - Some of the nutritional supplements discussed here can actually have a negative effect on some people.  A friend who was already on antidepressents reported heightened anxiety and sleeplessness when they took inositol.

I had an attack of diverticulitis, a painful intestinal infection that requires very strong antibiotics.  I took the antibiotics my doc prescribed for 10 days.  They made me feel strange and I was very glad when the 10 day course was over and I could stop taking them. Unfortunately a few days later the pain came back worse than before and I had to go to a GI specialist who put me on a 21 day course of even stronger antibiotics. It had a major effect on my mood. I had intense irrational anxiety, mood swings and suicidal thoughts.

One night I was in a very dark state of mind.  Katherine suggested I try a mega dose of inositol, which is a type of B vitamin that can sometimes be used effectively for anxiety and depression. An hour later I started to relax. The result was astonishing. The next day I felt normal.   I wondered what happened and did some internet research.  

It tuns out that inositol is an important nutrient for brain chemistry.  It is in lots of different foods and most people get plenty from their diet.  The problem is that the inositol has to be converted from the food by certain bacteria in the intestine.  These bacteria are killed by antibiotics.

I talked about this with a group of people the next day. One guy told me in private that he ended up in a psych ward after taking antibiotics.

I will not go into the technical details here, but do a google on:

inositol anxiety depression

and then do one on

inositol antibiotics

You can put the pieces together. Inositol has major effects on mood,  and antibiotics can keep you from absorbing it.


I have read that large doses of inositol can throw you in to the manic phase of manic depression if you are bipolar.  If you are bipolar or even think you might be, you should not do this without talking to a doctor.


You have to take a mega dose.  Don't buy the pills if you can get the powder, because you will have to take a handful of pills and it is so much easier to stir the powder up in water.  This will work better if you also take a super B complex and calcium and magnesium.

Here is the dosage that worked for me.

1 level teaspoon of inositol 3 times a day.  You can increase this if needed.

1000 mg calcium citrate and 500 mg magnesium citrate.  Warning, read the  directions if you are taking antibiotics.  Some of them tell you not to take minerals within several hours of taking the antibiotic.

1 super B complex

1 good quality multi vitamin.  Warning, read the  directions if you are taking antibiotics.  Some of them tell you not to take minerals within several hours of taking the antibiotic.

You can order all of this from Amazon or get it at any health food store.

I kept doing this after the antibiotics and it has had a major positive effect on my mood

According to wikipedia:

Some preliminary results of studies on high-dose inositol supplements show promising results for people suffering from problems such as bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, and unipolar and bipolar depression.

In a single double-blind study on 13 patients, Myo-inositol has been found to reduce the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) significantly, with effectiveness equal to SSRIs and virtually without side-effects. In a double-blind, controlled trial, myo-inositol was superior to fluvoxamine for decreasing the number of panic attacks and had fewer side-effects.

Patients suffering from clinical depression, in general, have decreased levels of inositol in their cerebrospinal fluid.[14][15] A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of depressed patients showed that a high dose of inositol (12 grams daily) resulted in significant improvement of symptoms, with no changes noted in liver, kidney, or hematological function.

Wikipedia link to info on use of inositol for psychiatric conditions

I have always been a moody person.   I decided to continue on the inositol, vitamins and minerals after I finished the antibiotics.  I feel very calm and cheerful.  I plan to continue on these nutrients and learn more about the effects of nutritional supplements on the brain.  As I learn more I will post the details here.

More Info

There are lots of books on this topic.  The one I have been reading is "Depression Free Naturally".  It was written in 2001 and is out of date on a few things, but it has been interesting and useful.  Here is the link on Amazon   Depression Free Naturally

Here are links to some other books on nutrition and mood.

They all look interesting but I won't have time to read them all.  If you are interested, pick one, read it, and send me a review.  I will post it on this web site

Please Help

I would like to make this website a resouce on the subject of mood and nutrition.  If you find other valuable info, email me and I will post it here. 

You can reach me at tomcarr1 at yahoo dot com.