Objectives: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic clinical condition characterized by pain, fatigue, altered sleep, and cognitive disturbances. The purpose of this study was to compare two alternative treatments (nutraceutical and acupuncture) in FMS patients through a randomized clinical trial.
Research methods: A total of 60 FMS female patients were randomized for treatment with a nutritional combination containing coenzyme Q10, vitamin D, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, and tryptophan (Migratens® Group) or acupuncture treatment (Acupuncture Group) performed according the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), both for 3 months. Changes in pain and in quality of life (QoL) measured with a Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Score-Revised (FIQ-R) and the Fibromyalgia Severity Scale (FSS) were performed at 1, 3, and 6 months after the start of treatments.
Results: A total of 55 patient completed the study (21 in the Migratens® Group and 34 in the Acupuncture Group). Migratens® treatment shows a statistically significant reduction of pain 1 month after the start of therapy (T1, p = 0.025), strengthened after 3 months with maintenance of treatment (p = 0.012). The efficacy in reducing pain was apparent in the Acupuncture Group at all post-treatment determinations and at follow-up (T1 and T2 p = <0.001). Regarding QoL, improvement in FIQ-R and FSS values was revealed in both groups.
Conclusion: The nutraceutical approach with Migratens® seems to be an effective option to for patients with FMS. Our experience confirmed also the validity of acupuncture in these patients. Considering the complexity of the management of FMS patients, our results suggest a cyclical and sequential, or even concurrent treatment with different approaches, to improve the efficacy and the compliance of patients to long-term treatment.
Keywords: acupuncture; dietary supplementation; fibromyalgia; nutraceutical; pain; quality of life.