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Posted by on Apr 26, 2018 in Urinary incontinence | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study reviewed available research on the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture to treat overactive bladder. The study concluded that acupuncture may be safe and effective to treat symptoms of an overactive bladder.

Some background

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common problem that causes urinary symptoms. These include needing to empty the bladder too often (frequency), getting up to empty the bladder during the night (nocturia), and leaking urine (incontinence). Treatments for OAB include medications that relax the bladder muscle. These medications, however, are associated with side effects such as headache and dry mouth.

Acupuncture uses pins to apply pressure to specific points in the body with attempt to gain a positive effect. Whether or not acupuncture can help to improve the symptoms of OAB is not clear.

Methods & findings

This study reviewed the results of 10 other trials, including 794 patients. Studies compared acupunture to a fake procedure, or to medications.

Compared to the fake procedure, acupuncture reduced the number of urinations during the night (nocturia). 

Two studies reported significant improvements in urgency and number of urinations per day in patients treated with acupuncture and the medication tolterodine (Detrol) compared to tolterodine alone. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that acupuncture combined with drug treatment may be useful in treating some symptoms of overactive bladder.

The fine print

This was a small number of studies and patients for a systematic review. Larger studies would be useful.

What’s next?

Talk to your doctor about different treatments for overactive bladder.

Published By :


Date :

Feb 01, 2018

Original Title :

Acupuncture for adults with overactive bladder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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