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The effects of electro-acupuncture (EA) are comparable with those of the drug gabapentin (GP) for improving sleep disturbances among breast cancer survivors. American investigators analysed data from a randomised trial involving 58 breast cancer survivors who were experiencing bothersome hot flushes at least twice per day. Participants were randomly assigned to receive eight weeks of EA (twice a week for two weeks and then weekly for six weeks) or daily GP. By the end of treatment, the mean improvement in total sleep scoresw were significantly greater in the EA group compared with the GP group (-2.6 versus -0.8). EA also improved sleep compared with the GP group: By week eight, the EA group showed improved sleep duration, less sleep disturbance, shorter sleep latency, decreased daytime dysfunction, improved sleep efficiency and better sleep quality compared with baseline, whereas the GP group improved only in duration and sleep quality.

Comparative effectiveness of electro-acupuncture versus gabapentin for sleep disturbances in breast cancer survivors with hot flashes: a randomized trial. Menopause. 2016 Nov 21. [Epub ahead of print].

 

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