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Acupuncture more effective than morphine for acute kidney pain

Acupuncture is associated with a much faster and deeper analgesic effect and better tolerance in comparison with morphine for patients suffering from acute renal colic. A total of 115 emergency room patients with renal colic were randomised into two groups by Iranian researchers. Patients in the morphine group received intravenous morphine every five minutes until their pain score dropped by at least 50%.

Acupuncture more effective than morphine for acute kidney pain

Patients in the acupuncture group received a 30-minute acupuncture session, which involved manual needling of between two and 16 points along the Bladder channel on the painful side. From the tenth minute until the end of the intervention, acupuncture was associated with a deeper analgesic effect than titrated morphine.

Analgesia was also faster in the acupuncture group, with time to obtain a 50% reduction in baseline pain score of 14 minutes in the acupuncture group versus 28 minutes in the morphine group. In addition, only three patients in the acupuncture group experienced minor side effects versus 42 in the morphine group.

J Pain Res. 2018 Feb 13;11:335-341

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