Richmond Acupuncture Clinic and Wellness Center in VA
Since 1988 practicing acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine
Xiaoyan Wang
L. Ac., MD (China)
3721 Westerre Pkwy.
Suite C
Henrico, VA 23233
(804) 301-1784
Monday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Sunday: 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM

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Hot Flash: Acupuncture Beats Drugs For Menopause

Acupuncture works as well as Wyeth’s antidepressant to fight hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms caused by breast cancer treatment, and its benefits last longer without causing unwanted side effects, according to new research.

After 12 weeks of treatment, symptoms were reduced for another 15 weeks for women who underwent acupuncture, compared with two weeks for those given Effexor, according to Eleanor Walker of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, who led the research and presented the findings at an American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology meeting.

There were no bad side effects with acupuncture, and women reported increased energy, overall sense of well-being and sexual desire, according to the researchers. Patients given Effexor reported side effects including nausea, headache, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, increased blood pressure, fatigue and anxiety. There were 47 patients in the study.

“If you only have to give women treatment three to four times a year as opposed to having to take a pill every day, that’s going to be more cost-effective for insurance companies and the patient,” Walker tells Reuters. We should note, however, that the hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine features acupuncture.

Breast cancer patients can develop menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes after treatment with chemotherapy and anti-estrogen hormones. Hormone replacement therapy is often used to treat such symptoms in women without breast cancer but, as Reuters explains, breast cancer patients cannot use that therapy because it may raise the risk of the cancer’s return.

Effexor is one of the most commonly used drugs to treat hot flashes in these women, although the researchers say some women opt not to take the drug and other antidepressants known as SSRIs over concerns about side effects.

Walker was unclear exactly how acupuncture is working, although some experts say it may help the activity of the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals among other things. The study was funded by the Susan Komen Foundation.

Richmond Acupuncture Clinic and Wellness Center in VA