Efficacy of Acupuncture for Treating Opioid Use Disorder in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Author: Chen Z1, Wang Y2, Wang R1, Xie J1, Ren Y3
Author Information:
1School of Acupuncture Moxibustion and Tuina, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
2School of Basic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
3School of Chinese Classics, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
Conference/Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
Date published: 2018 Dec 2
Other: Volume ID: 2018 , Pages: 3724708 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1155/2018/3724708. eCollection 2018. , Word Count: 272


Objectives: To assess the efficacy of acupuncture in treating opioid use disorder (OUD).

Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Embase, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science, ProQuest Dissertation and Theses, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), Clinicaltrials.gov, and who.int/trialsearch were searched from inception to 23 December 2017. The methodological quality of selected studies and the quality of evidence for outcomes were assessed, respectively, by the Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool and the GRADE approach. Statistical analyses were conducted by RevMan 5.3.

Results: A total of nine studies involving 1063 participants fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The results showed that acupuncture could be more beneficial than no treatment/sham acupuncture in terms of changes in craving for opioid (MD -2.18, 95% CI -3.10 to -1.26), insomnia (MD 2.31, 95% CI 1.97 to 2.65), and depression (SMD -1.50, 95% CI -1.85 to -1.15). In addition, these findings showed that, compared to sham electroacupuncture (EA), EA had differences in alleviating symptoms of craving (SMD -0.50, 95% CI -0.94 to -0.05) and depression (SMD -1.07, 95% CI -1.88 to -0.25) and compared to sham transcutaneous acupoint electrical stimulation (TEAS), TEAS had differences in alleviating symptoms of insomnia (MD 2.31, 95% CI 1.97 to 2.65) and anxiety (MD -1.26, 95% CI -1.60 to -0.92) compared to no treatment/sham TEAS.

Conclusions: Acupuncture could be effective in treating OUD. Moreover, EA could effectively alleviate symptoms of craving for opioid and depression, and TEAS could be beneficial in improving symptoms of insomnia and anxiety. Nevertheless, the conclusions were limited due to the low-quality and small number of included studies. PROSPERO registration number is CRD42018085063.

PMID: 30622598 PMCID: PMC6304557 DOI: 10.1155/2018/3724708

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