Acupuncture combined wiht Paroxetine in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder
In a six-week, randomized, controlled trial (with a 4-week follow-up) involving 160 patients with major depressive disorder, treatment with acupuncture (28 sessions of manual acupuncture or electroacupuncture) added to paroxetine treatment was found to be associated with a significantly greater improvement in symptoms (69.8% and 69.6%, respectively), as compared to treatment with paroxetine alone (41.7%). In the paroxetine alone group, 22.9% of patients required an increase in dose, as compared to 5.7% and 8.9% in the manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture groups. After 4 weeks of follow-up after treatments were completed, subjects in the electroacupuncture group continued to show significantly greater improvement. The authors conclude, "Our study indicates that acupuncture can accelerate the clinical response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and prevent the aggravation of depression."