Adjuvant Therapy of Oral Chinese Herbal Medicine for Menopausal Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Objective. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of oral Chinese herbal medicine (OCHM) combined with pharmacotherapy for menopausal depression. Methods. The electronic databases were searched from their inception to December 25, 2016, comprising PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang database, and Chinese Biomedical (CBM) database. Randomized controlled trials investigating the effectiveness of OCHM combined with pharmacotherapy for the people with menopausal depression were eligible. Risk of bias was evaluated according to the Cochrane handbook. Meta-analyses were performed to pool the effect size. Heterogeneity and publication bias were also examined. Results. Twenty-two RCTs with 1770 participants were included in the review. None of the studies used placebo as the control and the risk of bias was high in blinding the participants and personnel. Overall, the meta-analysis demonstrated that adjuvant therapy of OCHM was effective in reducing the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) scores compared to pharmacotherapy (MD = -3.75; 95% CI = -5.22, -2.29; P < 0.00001). The meta-analysis also suggested that OCHM adjuvant therapy for menopausal depression was superior to pharmacotherapy in terms of response rate of reducing HAMD scores (RR = 1.17; 95% CI = 1.10, 1.25; I2 = 55%). Conclusions. OCHM may provide additional effectiveness to pharmacotherapy for the people with menopausal depression. RCTs including the placebo control were required to further determine the additional efficacy of OCHM for menopausal depression.




Wang, J., Liu, J., Ni, X., Nie, G., Zeng, Y., Cao, X., … Wang, X. (2018). Adjuvant Therapy of Oral Chinese Herbal Medicine for Menopausal Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hindawi Limited.

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