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Acupuncture in migraine prophylaxis in Czech patients: an open-label randomized controlled trial

Authors Musil F, Pokladnikova J, Pavelek Z, Wang B, Guan X, Valis M

Received 26 October 2017

Accepted for publication 19 January 2018

Published 10 May 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1221—1228


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Frantisek Musil,1 Jitka Pokladnikova,1,2 Zbysek Pavelek,3 Bo Wang,4 Xin Guan,4 Martin Valis3

1Czech-Chinese Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic; 2Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic; 3Department of Neurology, University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic; 4Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Background: Adjuvant acupuncture for the symptomatic treatment of migraine reduces the frequency of headaches and may be at least similarly effective to treatment with prophylactic drugs.
Methods: This article describes an open-label randomized controlled clinical trial with two groups: the intervention group (n=42) and the waiting-list control group (n=44). This study occurred at the Czech-Chinese Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University Hospital Hradec Kralove between October 2015 and April 2017.
Results: After 12 weeks of acupuncture, the number of migraine days was reduced by 5.5 and 2.0 days in the acupuncture and the waiting-list control groups, respectively, with a statistically significant inter-group difference of 2.0 migraine days (95% CI: -4 to -1). A significantly greater reduction in the number of migraine days per 4 weeks was reached at the end of the 6-month follow-up period in the acupuncture vs. control groups (Δ -4.0; 95% CI: -6 to -2). A statistically significant difference was observed in the number of responders to treatment (response defined as at least a 50% reduction in average monthly migraine day frequency) in the acupuncture vs waiting-list control groups (50% vs 27%; p<0.05) at the end of the intervention. A significantly greater percentage of responders to treatment was noted in the intervention vs control groups at the 6-month follow-up (81% vs 36%; p<0.001).
Conclusion: Acupuncture can reduce symptoms and medication use, both short term and long term, as an adjuvant treatment in migraine prophylaxis in Czech patients.

Keywords: acupuncture, effectiveness, migraine, prophylaxis, Traditional Chinese medicine, treatment

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