FRIDAY, Dec. 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Acupuncture is safe and feasible for patients with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), according to a pilot study published online Dec. 29 in JAMA Network Open.

Ling-Yu Qi, from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, and colleagues randomly assigned 90 individuals with IBS-D to acupuncture (either specific acupoints [SA] or nonspecific acupoints [NSA]) or a sham acupuncture (NA) group with all groups receiving 12 30-minute sessions over four consecutive weeks.

The researchers observed substantial improvements in the response rate at week 4 for all groups (composite response rates of 46.7 percent in the SA group, 46.7 percent in the NSA group, and 26.7 percent in the NA group). However, the difference between the groups was not statistically significant. Adequate relief at week 4 was achieved by 64.3 percent in the SA group, 62.1 percent in the NSA group, and 55.2 percent in the NA group. Two patients (6.7 percent) in the SA group and three patients (10 percent) in the NSA or NA group reported adverse events.

“These findings suggest that acupuncture is feasible and safe; a larger, sufficiently powered trial is needed to accurately assess efficacy,” the authors write.

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