This overview of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses aims to critically appraise the methodology and reporting quality of relevant SRs and meta-analyses with the aim of identifying whether or not the use of valproate can prevent the switch to mania associated with antidepressant treatment in Chinese patients with depressive episodes.
Electronic databases China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP database) and Wanfang Database were searched for related SRs and meta-analyses from inception to the search date within Chinese restrictions. A total of 2 reviewers independently selected SRs and meta-analyses and collected related data, and a third reviewer was introduced if any disagreement occurred during the assessment. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) were employed to evaluate quality of the reporting and methodology.
The switch rate in the sodium valproate group by 99% and was significantly lower than in the antidepressant-only group (0% vs 5.7%; OR = 0.18; 95% CI, 0.04-0.84; Z = 2.18; P = .03). The magnesium valproate group was similar to the sodium valproate group in switch rate; the switch rate in the antidepressant group was (2.2% vs 16.92%; OR = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.03-0.39; Z = 3.47; P = .0005). The switch rate in the salt valproate combined with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) group was lower than in the SSRI group (0.51% vs 8.4%; OR = 0.15; 95% CI, 0.04-0.51; Z = 3.01; P = .003). The switch rate in the valproate combined with serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) group was similar to the valproate combined with SNRI group (2.3% vs 17.5%; OR = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.03-0.53; Z = 2.79; P = .05).
Salt valproate can reduce the switch rate related to antidepressant treatment in patients with depression.