Acupuncture is suitable for treating acute pain, provided the relief of pain will not mask the correct diagnosis, for which other treatments may be needed. Biliary and renal colic are two conditions for which acupuncture can be used not only as an analgesic but also as an antispasmodic. In controlled studies on biliary colic (62-64) and renal colic (7, 65, 66), acupuncture appears to have advantages over conventional drug treatments (such as intramuscular injection of atropine, pethidine, anisodamine (a Chinese medicine structurally related to atropine, isolated from Anisodus tanguticus), bucinnazine (also known as bucinperazine) or a metamizole-camylofin combination). It provides a better analgesic effect in a shorter time, without side-effects. In addition, acupuncture is effective for relieving abdominal colic, whether it occurs in acute gastroenteritis or is due to gastrointestinal spasm (67).