Although previous meta-analyses mainly focused on the effects of hormonal treatment against menopausal sleep disturbances, the therapeutic role of antidepressants has not been systematically addressed.
To study the therapeutic benefit and safety of antidepressants in menopausal sleep disturbances.
Randomized controlled trials assessing the therapeutic effects of antidepressants against menopausal sleep problems were identified from the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Science Direct databases from inception to March 1, 2020. Studies that were clinical trials with placebo controls were included. Subgroup analyses were conducted according to a random effects model.
Analysis of seven eligible randomized controlled trials including a total of 1,949 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women showed the effectiveness of serotonergic antidepressants against sleep disturbances despite the small effect size (Hedge g = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.11-0.38). The efficacy remained significantly better than that of placebo for postmenopausal women (Hedge g = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.04-0.45), participants with hot flashes (Hedge g = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.02-0.34), and those without diagnosis of major depressive disorder (Hedge g = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.06-0.40). There was no difference in therapeutic benefit between sedating and nonsedating serotonergic antidepressants. Besides, the dropout rate did not differ between antidepressant and placebo groups.
Conclusions and Relevance:
Our results showed that serotonergic antidepressants were effective against sleep disturbances in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. The efficacy remained significant for women without major depressive disorder. The dropout rates were also comparable between serotonergic antidepressants and placebo groups.