Objective: to observe the effect differences and safety between acupuncture and sham acupuncture for female depression on the basis of conventional western medicine therapy.
Methods: Forty-two patients with depression who met the criteria were randomly assigned into an observation group and a control group, 21 patients in each group. The basic treatment in the two groups was fluoxetine. The patients in the observation group were treated with acupuncture at Zhongwan (CV 12), Xiawan (CV 10), Qihai (CV 6), Guanyuan (CV 4) and bilateral Shangqu (KI 17). Sham acupuncture was used at the above points in the control group. The treatment was given once a day on the first 3 days and once every 3 days after that, totally for 8 weeks. The scores of self-rating depression scale (SDS) and Montgomery Asberg depression rating scale (MADRS) were compared before and after 4-week and 8-week treatment in the two groups. The effects and adverse reactions were evaluated.
Results: After 4-week and 8-week treatment, the SDS and MADRS scores were significantly lower than those before treatment in the two groups (all P<0.05), and the scores in the observation group were lower than those in the control group (both P<0.05). The improvements of SDS and MADRS scores in the observation group before and after treatment were better than those in the control group (both P<0.05). The total effective rates of SDS, MADRS scores were 85.7% (18/21), 90.5% (19/21) in the observation group, which were better than 38.1% (8/21), 57.1% (12/21) in the control group (both P<0.05). The adverse reactions in the observation group were significantly lower than those in the control group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Acupuncture combined with fluoxetine are effective and safe for female depression.
Keywords: acupuncture; female depression; fluoxetine; randomized controlled trial (RCT); self-rating depression scale (SDS).