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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:920353. doi: 10.1155/2015/920353. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

Acupuncture for Frequent Migraine: A Randomized, Patient/Assessor Blinded, Controlled Trial with One-Year Follow-Up.

Author information

1
TCM Research Program, Health Innovations Research Institute (HIRi), School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia.
2
Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia.
3
School of Mathematical and Geospatial Science, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of manual acupuncture as a prophylaxis for frequent migraine.

METHODS:

Fifty frequent migraineurs were randomly allocated to receive 16 sessions of either real acupuncture (RA = 26) or sham acupuncture (SA = 24) during 20 weeks. The primary outcomes were days with migraine over four weeks, duration, and intensity of migraine and the number of responders with more than 50% reduction of migraine days. The secondary outcomes were the relief medication, quality of migraine, quality of life, and pressure pain thresholds.

RESULTS:

The two groups were comparable at baseline. At the end of the treatment, when compared with the SA group, the RA group reported significant less migraine days (RA: 5.2 ± 5.0; SA: 10.1 ± 7.1; P = 0.008), less severe migraine (RA: 2.18 ± 1.05; SA: 2.93 ± 0.61; P = 0.004), more responders (RA: 19 versus SA: 7), and increased pressure pain thresholds. No other group difference was found. Group differences were maintained at the end of the three-month follow-up, but not at the one-year follow-up. No severe adverse event was reported. Blinding was successful.

DISCUSSION:

Manual acupuncture was an effective and safe treatment for short-term relief of frequent migraine in adults. Larger trials are warranted.

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