February 2007

Acupuncture for Depression: Missing the Point
Depression-specific acupuncture was no better than nonspecific acupuncture for patients with major depression.

Adjunctive Galantamine in Schizophrenia
Galantamine (formerly Reminyl, currently Razadyne) added to risperidone (Risperdal) treatment for schizophrenia patients offered some benefits.

Adverse Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
Drugs for erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra) and vardenafil (Levitra), may worsen sleep apnea and can cause seizures.

Deep brain stimulation decreased obsessive compulsive symptoms in 10 patients.

Clozapine for Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia
Clozapine (Clozaril and others) was superior to other second-generation antipsychotics for treatment-resistant patients with schizophrenia.

In Brief
Rasagiline Approved for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease; Paliperidone Approved for Treatment of Schizophrenia; PCOS Reversed When Valproate Discontinued.

Antipsychotics and New MIs
A large study suggests that antipsychotic drugs do not increase the risk of a new myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Take Ziprasidone with Food
Adequate absorption of ziprasidone is promoted by taking it with a meal that contains at least 30% fat.

Acupuncture for Depression: Missing the Point

February 2007

Acupuncture, one of many interventions considered complementary or alternative medicine, has been employed for a variety of ailments. Allen et al conducted a systemic trial of acupuncture for depression.1

One hundred fifty-one patients with major depressive disorder were assigned at random, in double-blind fashion, to receive either 12 sessions of traditional Chinese medicine-style acupuncture with manual stimulation for depression or one of two control conditions. One of the control conditions involved skin points not specifically targeted to depressive symptoms, while the other was a waiting-list control. After 8 weeks, all patients could receive depression-specific acupuncture.

Patients receiving acupuncture improved to a greater degree than those awaiting intervention. However, the depression-specific acupuncture showed no benefit over the nonspecific intervention.

There are many approaches to healing or the relief of suffering. Reasonable ones, particularly those honored by time, such as acupuncture, merit systematic study. In thiswell-conducted trial, acupuncture offered only nonspecific benefit over a waiting-list control.

1Allen JJ, Schnyer RN, Chambers AS, Hitt SK, Moreno FA, Manber R: Acupuncture for depression: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67:1665-1673.