A randomised, multi-centre research trial in China, has found acupuncture to be as effective as the drug flunarizine, at reducing pain and improving the quality of life for migraine sufferers. Further though, it was more effective than the drug, at reducing the number of days on which patients experienced attacks.
One hundred and forty migraine patients were randomly assigned to two groups. The first group was treated with true acupuncture plus a placebo drug, whilst the second was treated with sham acupuncture plus flunarizine, a drug commonly prescribed for migraine prevention. Both groups were given acupuncture three times per week and the drug each evening. The true acupuncture group experienced better responder rates (defined as a reduction in migraine days by at least 50%). No significant differences were observed between the two groups in improvements in pain intensity and quality of life.