Acupuncture better than Heartburn Drugs
23 April 2008
If proton pump inhibitors fail to control the symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, current standard management is to double the drug dose, despite limited therapeutic gain. An American clinical trial has compared this protocol against use of acupuncture. Thirty patients with classic heartburn symptoms who continued to be symptomatic on standard-dose proton pump inhibitors were enrolled into the study. Patients were randomised to either two acupuncture sessions per week in addition to their proton pump inhibitor regimen, or to doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose, over a period of four weeks. The acupuncture plus proton pump inhibitor group demonstrated a significant decrease in the mean daytime heartburn, night-time heartburn and acid regurgitation scores at the end of treatment when compared with baseline, while the double-dose proton pump inhibitor group did not demonstrate a significant change in their clinical endpoints.
(Clinical trial: acupuncture vs. doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose in refractory heartburn. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Oct 30;26(10):1333-1344).