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

Publication at Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové |


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 randomised 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 (Delta -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.