New research demonstrates that acupuncture therapy is effective for the treatment of depression due to nicotine withdrawal. A randomized study of seventy-four patients with depression due to nicotine withdrawal were divided into two groups of study. Group one received the pharmaceutical medication Fluoxetine, a serotonin uptake inhibitor used for the treatment of depression. Group two received acupuncture at acupoints: DU20 (Baihui), SP6 (Sanyinjiao), EX-HN3 (Yintang), LR3 (Taichong), PC6 (Neiguan) and LI4 (Hegu).
Thirty-four of thirty-eight patients demonstrated significant improvement in the acupuncture group. Thirty-three of thirty-six patients demonstrated significant improvement in the medication group. Based on these findings the researchers concluded, “The efficacy of acupuncture is similar to that of Fluoxetine in the treatment of depression in nicotine withdrawal.”
Acupuncture for Depression
In a related recent study, researchers concluded that acupuncture is an effective monotherapy for major depressive disorder. The researchers from the Depression Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, note, “We have previously shown that a standardized acupuncture augmentation was effective for antidepressant partial responders with major depressive disorder (MDD).” The prior research demonstrated that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of clinical depression for patients who are non-responsive to conventional pharmaceutical antidepressant therapies. In a follow-up investigation, the researchers examined the safety and efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of depression as a standalone therapy. The researchers concluded that, “Standardized acupuncture treatment was safe, well-tolerated and effective, suggesting good feasibility in outpatient settings.”
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World Journal of Acupuncture - Moxibustion. Volume 22, Issue 1, 30 March 2012, Pages 13–16, 61. Efficacy observation of depression in nicotine withdrawal treated with acupuncture. Yue-shuo HE , Yun-sheng WU, Min-feng OUYANG, Gui-xian LI, Hou-jian LI, Hui-E XIE. Department of Rehabilitation, Foshan Shunde Jun'an Hospital, Guangdong Province, China. doi.org/10.1016/S1003-5257(12)60003-8
A pilot study of acupuncture monotherapy in patients with major depressive disorder
David Mischoulon, Charlotte D. Brill, Victoria E. Ameral, Maurizio Fava, Albert S. Yeung. Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. 21 April 2012.
Albert S. Yeunga, Victoria E. Amerala, Sarah E. Chuzia, Maurizio Favaa and David Mischoulon. A pilot study of acupuncture augmentation therapy in antidepressant partial and non-responders with major depressive disorder. Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.