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J Am Med Womens Assoc (1972). 2004 Summer;59(3):216-24.

Selected integrative medicine treatments for depression: considerations for women.

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Women's Mental Health Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, USA.


This review evaluates the research published between 1966 and 2004 on several integrative treatments for depression, including omega-3 fatty acids, Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort), S-adenosyl-methionine, folate, 5-Hydroxytryptophan, acupuncture, exercise, and light therapy, with a particular emphasis on issues pertinent to women. Data from double-blind, placebo-controlled trials support each of these as treatment interventions for depression. We discuss both the strength of the evidence for each treatment and methodological issues related to interpretation of efficacy. Available data pertaining to considerations in women, including use during pregnancy and breastfeeding and interactions with hormonal therapies are discussed. The reviewed treatments deserve further research. Their appropriate place in the armamentarium of depression treatments for women must be defined. An evidence-based integrative medicine approach brings together treatment options with proven efficacy and the public's desire for complementary and alternative medicine treatments.

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