Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of acupuncture compared with topiramate treatment in chronic migraine (CM) prophylaxis.
Methods: A total of 66 consecutive and prospective CM patients were randomly divided into two treatment arms: 1) acupuncture group: acupuncture administered in 24 sessions over 12 weeks (n = 33); and 2) topiramate group: a 4-week titration, initiated at 25 mg/day and increased by 25 mg/day weekly to a maximum of 100 mg/day followed by an 8-week maintenance period (n = 33).
Results: A significantly larger decrease in the mean monthly number of moderate/severe headache days (primary end point) from 20.2 ± 1.5 days to 9.8 ± 2.8 days was observed in the acupuncture group compared with 19.8 ± 1.7 days to 12.0 ± 4.1 days in the topiramate group (p < .01) Significant differences favoring acupuncture were also observed for all secondary efficacy variables. These significant differences still existed when we focused on those patients who were overusing acute medication. Adverse events occurred in 6% of acupuncture group and 66% of topiramate group.
Conclusion: We suggest that acupuncture could be considered a treatment option for CM patients willing to undergo this prophylactic treatment, even for those patients with medication overuse.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01096420.