Background and purpose
Acupuncture is increasingly used by patients with primary trigeminal neuralgia (PTN). We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for PTN.
Seven databases were searched. Risk of bias was assessed and meta-analyses were conducted. The evidence level was assessed using Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE).
Thirty-three RCTs were included. Meta-analysis results demonstrated that the effect of both manual acupuncture (MA) and electro-acupuncture (EA) for improving response rate and recurrence rate was more significant than carbamazepine. Besides, MA achieved more significant effect on alleviating pain intensity. Moreover, acupuncture combined with carbamazepine had a more positive effect on response rate than carbamazepine alone.
Acupuncture might have some positive effects for PTN. Nevertheless, the level of all evidence was low or very low. We could not yet draw a firm conclusion on the efficacy of acupuncture for PTN.
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Yi-HuaShi et al; 2018
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