Is acupuncture as effective as pharmacological management in migraine prophylaxis?


Apostolou, Apostolos and Wang, T. 2013. Is acupuncture as effective as pharmacological management in migraine prophylaxis? Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture. 20 (2), pp. 25-29.
AuthorsApostolou, Apostolos and Wang, T.

AIM: To assess whether acupuncture is an effective alternative to pharmacological management in the prophylaxis of migraine
RATIONALE: Epidemiological studies suggest that migraine has a huge impact on the world population in terms of pain, side-effects and cost of loss productivity at work.
METHODS: internet based research of relevant and recent randomized controlled trials and subsequent comparative analysis.
RESULTS: Six relevant and recent papers were found to be published on migraine prophylaxis incorporating acupuncture treatment and drug control interventions. All reviewed papers varied considerably in study design and quality, making comparative analysis challenging. Nevertheless, a meta-analysis from the available quantitative data was performed and provided results that are concordant with the cumulative effect of acupuncture treatment. Furthermore, statistically significant increases in the percentage of responders and decreases in rescue medication suggested that acupuncture is an effective prophylaxis for migraines without the adverse events of standard pharmacological management.
CONCLUSION: There is evidence to suggest that acupuncture could be considered as a first line treatment for chronic migraine, particularly in patients who cannot tolerate standardized drug therapy. NICE guidelines may need to be updated. Forthcoming trials need to be redesigned to optimize the full potential of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines.

KeywordsMigraine; Alternative medicine; Pain Management
JournalJournal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture
Journal citation20 (2), pp. 25-29
PublisherAssociation of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture UK
Accepted author manuscript
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PrintSep 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Oct 2013
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