Acupuncture may reduce antihistamine use and improve the quality of lives for patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis, according to study results published online.

Benno Brinkhaus, MD, of the Charité-University Medical Center in Berlin, and colleagues published study results of 422 patients aged 16 to 45 years who were randomly assigned to acupuncture plus an allergy medication (cetirizine), a fake acupuncture technique plus an allergy medication or medication alone.

“Compared with sham acupuncture and with rhinitis medication, acupuncture was associated with improvement in rhinitis quality-of-life score,” the researchers wrote. “There were no differences after 16 weeks in the first year. After the 8-week follow-up phase in the second year, small improvements favoring real acupuncture over the sham procedure were noted.”

In an accompanying editorial, Remy R. Coeytaux, MDPhD, of Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, N.C., and Jongbae J. Park, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, urged further research “that uses patient-centered outcomes and comparative effectiveness research designs to inform patients, clinicians, policymakers, payers, and other stakeholders of the role that acupuncture might play in our health care system.”

Originally posted on Healio