The combined effect of acupuncture and Tanacetum parthenium on quality of life in women with headache: randomised study

Acupunct Med. 2012 Dec;30(4):252-7. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010195. Epub 2012 Sep 8.


Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of acupuncture (AC), Tanacetum (TAN) or combined treatment on quality of life in women with chronic migraine (CM).

Methods: A total of 69 women volunteers were randomly divided into 3 groups: AC, acupuncture administered in 20 sessions over 10 weeks (n=22); TAN, at 150 mg/day (n=23); and AC+TAN (n=23). The primary outcome was Short-Form 36 (SF-36) quality of life assessment score. Secondary outcomes included the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) and visual analogue scale (VAS) score experienced after randomisation.

Results: AC+TAN was statistically significantly more effective than AC or TAN alone in overall health-related quality of life (SF-36; p<0.05), on MIDAS score (-35.1 (10.6) AC vs -24.8 (11.7) TAN vs -42.5 (9.8) AC+TAN; p<0.05) and in reducing the mean score of pain on VAS (-5.6 (2.4) AC vs -3.7 (2.1) TAN vs -6.4 (3.1) AC+TAN; p<0.05).

Conclusions: The present work shows an improvement of the quality of life and better analgesic effect of acupuncture combined with TAN treatment on migraine pain in women when compared with acupuncture or TAN alone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Analgesia
  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy
  • Migraine Disorders / therapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Tanacetum parthenium / chemistry*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal