The Chinese herbal formula Chaihu Jia Longgu Muli is more effective than antidepressants for poststroke depression

Methods: All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CLMD in the treatment of PSD were searched from the following databases: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang Database, VIP Database, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Service System (CBM), from their inception to May 2021. Two researchers independently screened the literature, extracted the data, and evaluated the risk of bias in the included studies. Meta-analysis was performed using RevMan5.3 software.

Results: A total of 13 RCTs involving 1665 patients were finally included in this study, among which 5 RCTs were oral CLMD alone versus antidepressants, and 8 RCTs were oral CLMD with antidepressants versus antidepressants. Meta-analysis results showed that oral administration of CLMD could improve Hamilton’s Depression Scale (HAMD) and the Modified Edinburgh-Scandinavian Stroke Scale (MESSS) scores, improve the Barthel index, and have a low rate of adverse reactions, but there was no significant difference in the total effective rate (p=0.21 > 0.05) and the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score (p=0.47 > 0.05) between the antidepressants group and the oral administration of the CLMD group. Oral CLMD combined with antidepressants could improve the total effective rate, HAMD, and MESSS score, but there was no significant difference in Barthel index (p=0.06 > 0.05) and the adverse reaction rate (p=0.14 > 0.05) between the two groups.

Conclusion: Current evidence suggests that oral CLMD alone or with antidepressants is more effective and safer in the treatment of PSD than oral antidepressants.

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34457030/

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Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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