Effect of acupuncture in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled clinical trial

Am J Chin Med. 2002;30(1):1-11. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X0200020X.


The clinical efficacy and safety of acupuncture in the treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR) was evaluated by employing a two-phase crossover single-blind clinical trial. Thirty subjects were randomly assigned to two groups with 17 and 13 subjects respectively and treated with real or sham acupuncture (three times per week) for four consecutive weeks and then a crossover for treatments for a further four weeks without a washout period. The administration of real acupuncture treatment was guided by a syndrome differentiation according to Chinese Medicine Theory. Subjects were assessed by various criteria before, during and after the treatments. Outcome measures included subjective symptom scores using a five-point scale (FPS), relief medication scores (RMS) and adverse effect records. Twenty-six (26) subjects completed the study. There was a significant improvement in FPS (nasal and non-nasal symptoms) between the two types of acupuncture treatments. No significant differences were shown in RMS between the real acupuncture treatment group and the sham acupuncture treatment group. No side effects were observed for both groups. The results indicate that acupuncture is an effective and safe alternative treatment for the management of SAR.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • Acupuncture* / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome