In clinical practice, the evidence of acupuncture used as a treatment for migraine without aura is employed interchangeably to guide treatment for menstrual migraine. However, its effect and safety are not substantiated. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of acupuncture on the frequency and pain intensity of menstrual migraine.
We searched PubMed, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and other two Chinese databases from their inception to 1 May 2019. This study included randomised controlled trials of women with menstrual migraine receiving acupuncture or a valid control. Two reviewers independently completed study selection, data extraction and risk of bias assessment. We combined data with a fixed-effect model in RevMan. Clinical outcomes included migraine frequency and duration, headache intensity, and adverse events.
Thirteen studies with 826 subjects were included, 9 of which had data suitable for meta-analyses. Current evidence showed that acupuncture was not superior to sham acupuncture in reducing monthly migraine frequency and duration, average headache intensity, and analgesic use at completion of treatment or follow-up. Pooled data demonstrated a significant improvement in mean headache intensity in the acupuncture group compared with drugs. However, all studies were underpowered and associated with moderate to high risk of bias. No serious adverse event was related to acupuncture treatment.
There is no convincing evidence to support the use of acupuncture in treating menstrual migraine. Acupuncture cannot yet be recommended to patients with menstrual migraine until more solid evidence is produced.

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