Professor Ernst presents an overview of Cochrane reviews on acupuncture.

First, the details.

  • 32 reviews were found, covering a wide range of conditions.

And, the results.

  • 25 of them failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture.
  • 5 reviews arrived at positive or tentatively positive conclusions, while 2 were inconclusive.
  • The conditions most solidly supported by evidence are…
    • Chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting
    • Postoperative nausea/vomiting
    • Idiopathic headache

The bottom line?
The good professor concludes, “Cochrane reviews of acupuncture do not suggest that this treatment is effective for a wide range of conditions.”

Do I detect negativity?

You could just as easily conclude that acupuncture is effective for chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting, postoperative nausea/vomiting, and idiopathic headache.

9/17/08 21:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.