“Adding acupuncture is more effective than doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose,” according to researchers at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson.

First, the details.

  • 30 patients with classic heartburn symptoms who continued to be symptomatic on standard-dose proton pump inhibitors were enrolled into the study.
    • Examples of proton pump inhibitors include omeprazole (Losec, Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), esomeprazole (Nexium), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex)
  • Each patient received upper endoscopy while on proton pump inhibitors once daily.
  • They were then randomly assigned to adding acupuncture to their proton pump inhibitor or doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose over 4 weeks.
  • An expert delivered acupuncture twice a week.

And, the results.

  • The acupuncture + proton pump inhibitor group had a significant decrease in the average scores for daytime heartburn, nighttime heartburn, and acid regurgitation at the end of treatment compared to baseline.
  • The double-dose proton pump inhibitor group had no change in response.
  • The general health score was only significantly improved in the acupuncture + proton pump inhibitor group.

The bottom line?
These findings are supported by an earlier study that showed alterations in gastric myoelectrical activity with acupressure.

4/2/08 20:07 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 www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.