Acupuncture effective for Allergic Rhinitis
23 April 2008
An Australian study has found that acupuncture can significantly reduce the symptoms of persistent allergic rhinitis (PAR). The randomised, single-blind, sham-controlled trial included 80 patients with PAR (aged 16-70 years) who were randomly assigned to real or sham acupuncture. Three key acupuncture points, Yingxiang L.I.-20, Yintang M-HN-3 and Fengchi GB-20, plus one supplementary point (determined individually on the basis of TCM pattern differentiation) were used for each participant. After a one-week baseline period, participants were treated twice weekly for eight weeks and followed up for another 12 weeks. Nasal obstruction, sneezing, rhinorrhoea and nasal itch were each self-assessed daily on a 5-point scale, and individual symptom scores were added to give a sum of the symptom scores (total nasal symptom score, TNSS). A secondary outcome was use of PAR relief medication. At the end of eight weeks' treatment, the weekly mean difference in TNSS from baseline was significantly greater with real (-17.2) than with sham acupuncture (-4.2) and these benefits persisted three months after the end of treatment. Comparisons of relief medication scores revealed a significant decline in the use of medication in the real acupuncture group between baseline and Week 8 of treatment, the reduction being still apparent at the end of follow-up. (Acupuncture for persistent allergic rhinitis: a randomised, sham-controlled trial. Med J Aust. 2007 Sep 17;187(6):337-41).