Comparative efficacy trial of cupping and serkangabin versus conventional therapy of migraine headaches: A randomized, open-label, comparative efficacy trial

J Res Med Sci. 2014 Dec;19(12):1134-9.


Background: Migraine headaches are the most common acute and recurrent headaches. Current treatment of a migraine headache consists of multiple medications for control and prevention of recurrent attacks. Global emergence of alternative medicine led us to examine the efficacy of cupping therapy plus serkangabin syrup in the treatment of migraine headaches.

Materials and methods: This study was a randomized, controlled, open-label, comparative efficacy trial. We randomly assigned patients with migraine into cupping therapy plus serkangabin group (30 patients) and conventional treatment group (30 patients). An investigator assessed the severity of headache, frequency of attacks in a week and duration of attacks per hour in 5 visits (at the end of 2 weeks, 1, 3 and 6 months). Generalized estimating equations approach was used to analyze repeated measures data to compare outcomes in both groups.

Results: Average age for cupping therapy group and conventional treatment group were 31.7 (±7.6) and 32.6 (±12.7) years, respectively (P = 0.45). After treatment for 2 weeks; and 1, 3 and 6 months, severity of headache (P = 0.80), frequency of migraine attacks (P = 0.63) and duration of attacks per hours (P = 0.48) were similar in conventional and cupping groups but these symptoms were decreased in each group during the study (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: There was no significant difference between cupping plus serkangabin therapy and conventional treatment in the treatment and prophylaxis of migraine. The alternative therapy may be used in cases of drug intolerance, no medication response, and in primary care.

Keywords: Cupping therapy; migraine; prophylaxis; serkangabin; treatment.