Annals of Internal Medicine, February 2016

Acupuncture has often been used as a treatment for hot flushes but its effectiveness is unclear.

A group in Australia studied the effect of acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture in a randomised trial.

327 women who were older than age 40 and were having at least seven hot flushes per day were randomly assigned to Chinese medicine acupuncture or non-insertive sham acupuncture.

Ten treatments were given over eight weeks and the women were assessed for number of hot flushes at four weeks, at the end of treatment and then at three and six months after the end of treatment. Results showed no difference in the hot flush scores between the groups, concluding that Chinese medicine acupuncture was no better than non-insertive sham acupuncture for reducing hot flushes.

Ref Ee C, Xue C, Chondros P et al. Acupuncture for Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med, 2016 Feb 2;164(3):146-54