Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation for the Treatment of Withdrawal Syndrome in Heroin Addicts.

Author: Ma D1,2, Han JS1,2, Diao QH3, Deng GF3, Ping XJ1,2, Jin WJ1,2, Wu LZ1,2, Cui CL1,2, Li XD4.
Affiliation: 1Neuroscience Research Institute & Department of Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, 100191. 2Key Laboratory for Neuroscience, Ministry of Education/National Health and Family Planning Commission, Peking University, Beijing, 100191. 3Zhongshan Detoxification Center, Zhongshan, Guangdong, 528400. 4Jinding Voluntary Detox Hospital, Zhuhai, Guangdong, 519085. Abstract
Conference/Journal: Pain Med
Date published: 2015 May
Other: Volume ID: 16 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 839-848 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/pme.12738 , Word Count: 365

To assess the therapeutic effect of transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation (TEAS) for the treatment of withdrawal syndrome in heroin addicts.
A total of 63 male heroin addicts with withdrawal score higher than 20 were recruited in the Detoxification Center of Zhongshan city, Guangdong province, China. They were randomly distributed into two groups: TEAS group (n = 31) received TEAS by using a Han's acupoint nerve stimulator (HANS) model 200A with two output channels, 2-3 sessions per day, 30 minutes per session for 10 consecutive days. Electrical stimulation of alternating frequencies of 2- and 100- Hz with 3 second each, and with intensity of 10-15 mA was applied on Hegu (LI-4) and Laogong (PC-8) points on one hand, and Neiguan (PC-6) and Waiguan (SJ-5) points on the other forearm via electroconductive skin pads of 4 cm × 4 cm in size. The control group (n = 32) was treated with similar procedure except that the leads of the output of the stimulator was disconnected. Assessments of the severity of the withdrawal syndrome were conducted one day before and on each day during the whole treatment period of 10 days. Buprenorphin of 1 mg per day sublingually was provided to all subjects in the first two days, and then to those with withdrawal score over 20 in the following days.
The TEAS treatment dramatically alleviated the withdrawal syndrome during heroin detoxification. No significant difference was found in withdrawal scores between the two groups at the beginning of the observation. Withdrawal scores showed a more marked drop in TEAS group than the control starting from the second day, and maintained at a lower level for the whole course of treatment. The area under the curve of withdrawal score in TEAS group was only 40% of that in the control (P < 0.001, two way repeated measures analysis of variance), and the requirement of buprenorphine was only 10% of that in the control. No adverse effects were observed in either group.
TEAS of 2/100 Hz for 10 days in abrupt abstinence of the heroin addicts resulted in a marked reduction of the withdrawal syndrome as well as a reduced requirement for rescue opioids.
© 2015 American Academy of Pain Medicine.
Acupuncture; Buprenorphine; Electroacupuncture; Transcutaneous Electric Acupoint Stimulation, Heroin Dependence; Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation; Withdrawal Syndrome
PMID: 25989154