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Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials
(87 pages)

Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
close this folder1. General considerations
View the document1.1. Definition
View the document1.2. Need for evaluation
View the document1.3. Evaluation methodology
View the document1.4. Safety
View the document1.5. Availability and practicability
View the document1.6. Studies on therapeutic mechanisms
View the document1.7. Selection of clinical trial reports
Open this folder and view contents2. Review of clinical trial reports
View the document3. Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture
View the document4. Summary table of controlled clinical trials
View the documentReferences
 

1.4. Safety

Generally speaking, acupuncture treatment is safe if it is performed properly by a well-trained practitioner. Unlike many drugs, it is non-toxic, and adverse reactions are minimal. This is probably one of the chief reasons why acupuncture is so popular in the treatment of chronic pain in many countries. As mentioned previously, acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency.

Even if the effect of acupuncture therapy is less potent than that of conventional treatments, acupuncture may still be worth considering because of the toxicity or adverse effects of conventional treatments. For example, there are reports of controlled clinical trials showing that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (4-6), although not as potent as corticosteroids. Because, unlike corticosteroids, acupuncture treatment, does not cause serious side-effects, it seems reasonable to use acupuncture for treating this condition, despite the difference in effectiveness.

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Last updated: May 4, 2012