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Toxins (Basel). 2017 Nov 7;9(11). pii: E361. doi: 10.3390/toxins9110361.

Efficacy of Bee Venom Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Sham-Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, 892, Dongnam-ro, Gangdong-gu, Seoul 05278, Korea. seohbk@hanmail.net.
2
Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea. hks8158@kiom.re.kr.
3
Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea. cheda1334@kiom.re.kr.
4
Department of Neurosurgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, 892, Dongnam-ro, Gangdong-gu, Seoul 05278, Korea. apuzzo@hanmail.net.
5
Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea. omdjun@kiom.re.kr.
6
Korean Medicine Life Science, University of Science & Technology (UST), Campus of Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34113, Korea. omdjun@kiom.re.kr.

Abstract

Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) is an effective treatment for chronic low back pain (CLBP) through the pharmacological effects of bee venom and the simultaneous stimulation of acupoints. However, evidence of its efficacy and safety in humans remains unclear. Using a double-blind, randomized study, 54 patients with non-specific CLBP were assigned to the BVA and sham groups. All participants underwent six sessions of real or sham BVA for 3 weeks, in addition to administration of 180 mg of loxonin per day. The primary outcome, that is, "bothersomeness" derived from back pain, was assessed using the visual analog scale. Secondary outcomes included pain intensity, dysfunction related to back pain (Oswestry Disability Index), quality of life (EuroQol 5-Dimension), and depressive mood (Beck's depression inventory). Outcomes were evaluated every week during the treatment period and followed up at weeks 4, 8, and 12. After 3 weeks of the treatment, significant improvements were observed in the bothersomeness, pain intensity, and functional status in the BVA group compared with the sham group. Although minimal adverse events were observed in both groups, subsequent recovery was achieved without treatment. Consequently, our results suggest that it can be used along with conventional pharmacological therapies for the treatment of CLBP.

KEYWORDS:

bee venom acupuncture; chronic pain; low back pain; pharmacopuncture

PMID:
29112155
PMCID:
PMC5705976
DOI:
10.3390/toxins9110361
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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