Patients who received acupuncture treatments saw a greater decrease in the number of migraine headaches and a lower rate for adverse responses to treatment than those who took topiramate, a study in Taiwan found.
The study, “Acupuncture Versus Topiramate in Chronic Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Clinical Trial” at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, divided sufferers of regular migraine headaches into two groups, one that used topiramate and another that received regular acupuncture treatments twice per week over 12 weeks.
The acupuncture group showed a decrease in the average monthly number of migraine headaches by more than half. The rate of adverse responses to topiramate was 66 percent, compared to six percent of those who had the acupuncture treatments.
Topiramate is the generic form of Topamax. Since its approval by the FDA in 2004, the drug was moved to Pregnancy Category D due to an association to cleft palate and lip in newborns whose mothers took Topamax during pregnancy. Drugs in Pregnancy Category D have human data that demonstrates a risk to the fetus, but the potential benefits of these drugs is considered acceptable in some situations.