The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Punching holes in the claims for acupuncture

    Acupuncture is commonly used for pain control, but there are doubts about its effectiveness and safety.

    Prof. Ernst and colleagues are critical of acupuncture as a treatment of pain. Here, they summarize reports of serious adverse effects published since 2000.

    First, the details.

    • 57 reviews were included.
    • 4 were of excellent design quality.

    And, the results.

    • Many contradictions and caveats emerged.
    • Unanimously positive conclusions from more than 1 high-quality systematic review existed only for neck pain.
    • 95 cases of severe adverse effects including 5 fatalities were reported.
    • Pneumothorax and infections were the most frequently reported adverse effects.
      • Pneumothorax is a buildup of air that places pressure on the lung so it can’t expand as much as normal.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Numerous systematic reviews have generated little truly convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain. Serious adverse effects continue to be reported.”

    10/1/11 22:44 JR

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