The effects of acupuncture are comparable to those of medication in patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis, Chinese researchers have found. In the study, 76 patients received either acupuncture, or budesonide nasal spray (a steroid) plus cetirizine (antihistamine) tablets for a total of eight weeks.
Scores for specific symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose and nasal itching, as well as total symptom scores, decreased in both groups with no sigificant difference between the two. This persisted at 12 week follow-up. The authors conclude acupuncture has a comparable effect to the medication treatment on patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis, and it is safe with no severe adverse effects.
(Acupuncture for moderate to severe allergic rhinitis: A non-randomized controlled trial. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, July 2016.)