Acupuncture versus antidepressants in the management of postpartum depression: A systematic review

Background

Antidepressants for postnatal depression may not be acceptable to women and so many may seek alternative therapies.

Aim

To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for postnatal depression compared with antidepressant treatment.

Methods

A literature search was conducted in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean databases. Details of the trials were extracted and analysed.

Findings

Of the 1592 studies reviewed, three met the inclusion criteria for quantitative analysis. Two studies reported no significant differences between acupuncture and fluoxetine for depression, while the third reported significant improvements.

Conclusions

Acupuncture in postpartum depression was at least as effective as fluoxetine hydrochloride, supporting the notion that acupuncture may be a safe and effective option.

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