Objective: To explore the effects of GengNianLe (GNL, also called perimenopausal depression relieving formula), a defined formula of Chinese medicinal herbs in relieving perimenopausal depression in Chinese women.
Methods: Between September 2004 and April 2008, 47 Chinese women were randomized into a GNL group (n = 21) and a control group which received tibolone (n = 26) using a randomization chart. Depression was rated with the 24-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD). The serum levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and estradiol (E(2)) were detected before and after the treatment.
Results: After 12 weeks of treatment, HAMD scores in both groups decreased significantly (p < 0.05) with no significant difference between the groups (p > 0.05). The levels of FSH decreased significantly and the level of E(2) increased significantly in both groups, and they changed more in the control group. No side-effect of treatment was reported in either group during treatment.
Conclusions: The Chinese medicinal formula GNL showed promise in relieving perimenopausal depression and merits further study.