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Acupuncture has a better effect than propranolol in reducing migraine episodes and this difference is clinically relevant. Chinese authors included 19 RCTs with 3656 subjects, in which acupuncture or propranolol was compared with sham acupuncture, placebo, waiting-list control or usual care, in an indirect treatment comparison meta-analysis. Their analysis showed that acupuncture had a significant advantage over propranolol in reducing migraine episodes over a four-week period. The effect size of acupuncture versus propranolol was large (SMD − 0.74), suggesting that the difference is clinically relevant. Acupuncture also had a significant advantage over waiting-list control in decreasing migraine frequency and caused fewer adverse events than propranolol. The results also showed that acupuncture was better than the drugs funarizine, metoprolol and topiramate.

Acupuncture versus propranolol in migraine prophylaxis: an indirect treatment comparison meta-analysis. J Neurol. 2019 Aug 21

 

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