Acupuncture beats topiramate for chronic migraines

Background: Acupuncture has been used for the treatment of chronic migraine, but high-quality evidence is scarce. We aimed to evaluate acupuncture’s efficacy and safety compared to topiramate for chronic migraine.

Methods: This double-dummy randomized controlled trial included participants aged 18-65 years diagnosed with chronic migraine. They were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive acupuncture (three sessions/week) plus topiramate placebo (acupuncture group) or topiramate (50-100 mg/day) plus sham acupuncture (topiramate group) over 12 weeks, with the primary outcome being the mean change in monthly migraine days during weeks 1-12.

Results: Of 123 screened patients, 60 (mean age 45.8, 81.7% female) were randomly assigned to acupuncture or topiramate groups. Acupuncture demonstrated significantly greater reductions in monthly migraine days than topiramate (weeks 1-12: -2.79 [95% CI: -4.65 to -0.94, p = 0.004]; weeks 13-24: -3.25 [95% CI: -5.57 to -0.92, p = 0.007]). No severe adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: Acupuncture may be safe and effective for treating chronic migraine. The efficacy of 12 weeks of acupuncture was sustained for 24 weeks and superior to that of topiramate. Acupuncture can be used as an optional preventive therapy for chronic migraine.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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