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Antidepressants During and After Menopausal Transition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Ching-Kuan Wu 1Ping-Tao Tseng 2 3 4Ming-Kung Wu 5 6Dian-Jeng Li 7 8Tien-Yu Chen 9 10Fu-Chen Kuo 11 12Brendon Stubbs 13 14 15Andre F Carvalho 16 17Yen-Wen Chen 3Pao-Yen Lin 5 18Yu-Shian Cheng 19 20Cheuk-Kwan Sun 21 22

 Sci Rep. 2020 May 15;10(1):8026. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-64910-8

Abstract

To assess the therapeutic benefits of antidepressants in depressive women during and after menopausal transition, PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE and Science Direct were systematically searched from inception to February 1, 2020 for randomized controlled trials examining antidepressants compared to placebo. Primary outcome was change in depressive symptom severity, while secondary outcomes were rates of response/remission rates and dropout/discontinuation due to adverse events. Seven trials involving 1,676 participants (mean age = 52.6 years) showed significant improvement in depressive symptoms (k = 7, Hedges’ g = 0.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.32 to 0.57, p < 0.001) relative to that in controls. Furthermore, response (k = 3, odds ratio (OR) = 2.53, 95% CI = 1.24 to 5.15, p = 0.01) and remission (k = 3, OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.32 to 2.57, p < 0.001) rates were significantly higher in antidepressant-treated groups compared to those with controls. Although dropout rates did not differ between antidepressant and control groups (k = 6, OR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.70 to 1.26, p = 0.68), the rate of discontinuation due to adverse events was significantly higher in antidepressant-treated groups (k = 6, OR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.86, p = 0.01). Subgroup analysis indicated that antidepressants were also efficacious for depressive symptoms in those without diagnosis of MDD. The results demonstrated that antidepressants were efficacious for women with depressive syndromes during and after menopausal transition but associated with a higher risk of discontinuation due to adverse events.