Acupuncture Treatment May Limit Dose of Anti-Depressant Needed

In a randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled study involving 80 patients with major depressive disorder, treatment with acupuncture (5 treatments per week for 6 weeks) in addition to a low-dose of the anti-depressant, fluoxetine (10 mg/d) was found to be as effective at improving symptoms of depression as subjects who received a higher dose (the recommended dose) of fluoxetine (20-30 mg/d). Moreover, subjects who received acupuncture reported less side effects of the anti-depressant and greater improvement in symptoms of anxiety. The authors conclude that acupuncture may be beneficial to "depressive patients with severe anxious symptoms and/or intolerable side-effects of antidepressants…."

"Combination of acupuncture and fluoxetine for depression: a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial," Zhang WJ, Yang XB, et al, J Altern Complement Med, 2009
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