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Electro-acupuncture (EA) provides significant clinically-relevant symptom relief when added to antacids for the treatment of refractory functional dyspepsia (FD). Chinese researchers randomised 132 FD patients refractory to treatment with proton pump inhibitors, prokinetics or H2 antagonists to either treatment or control groups. Both groups received on-demand gastrocaine for 12 weeks, but those in the treatment group additionally received 20 sessions of EA over 10 weeks. The EA treatment included acupoints Liangqiu ST-34, Zusanli ST-36, Fenglong ST-40, Chongyang ST-42, Zhongwan REN-12, Neiguan P-6, Pishu BL-20 and Weishu BL-21. The EA group showed a significantly higher likelihood of achieving adequate symptom relief at 12 weeks, with a clinically relevant number needed to treat value of 2.36. Statistically and clinically significant improvements were also observed in the EA group for global symptom scores, postprandial fullness and early satiation, epigastric pain, epigastric burning and postprandial nausea.

Electroacupuncture plus on-demand gastrocaine for refractory functional dyspepsia: Pragmatic randomized trial. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 May 22