Comparison of pharmacological treatment versus acupuncture treatment for migraine without aura--analysis of socio-medical parameters

J Tradit Chin Med. 2000 Sep;20(3):231-40.


This study was carried out in 120 patients affected by migraine without aura, treated in 4 public health centers and randomly divided into acupuncture group (AG) and conventional drug therapy group (CDTG). The evaluation of clinical results was made 6 and 12 months after the beginning of treatment and was worked out as well according to socio-medical parameters. Acupuncture was applied to the following points: Touwei (ST 8), Xuanlu (GB 5), Fengchi (GB 20), Dazhui (GV 14), Lieque (LU 7), treated with the reducing method. In AG, the figure scoring the entity and frequency of migraine attacks drops from 9,823 before treatment to 1,990 6 months after and 1,590 12 months after; while in CDTG, it drops from 8,405 before treatment to 3,927 6 months after and 3,084 12 months after. In AG, the total absence from work amounted to 1,120 working days/year, with a total cost (private + social costs) of 186,677,000 Italian liras. In CDTG, the absence from work amounted to 1,404 working days/year, with a total cost of 266,614,000 Italian liras. If we consider that in Italy the patients affected by migraine without aura are around 800,000, and that acupuncture therapy is able to save 1,332,000 Italian liras on the total average cost supported for every single patient, the application of acupuncture in the treatment of migraine without aura would allow a saving of the health expenses in Italy of over 1,000 billion liras.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine without Aura / economics
  • Migraine without Aura / therapy*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Socioeconomic Factors