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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 678176, 7 pages
Review Article

Effectiveness of Pharmacopuncture for Asthma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Division of Allergy, Immune and Respiratory System, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-702, Republic of Korea
2R&D Policy Team, Policy Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea

Received 28 May 2010; Accepted 20 August 2010

Copyright © 2011 Feng-Yan Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pharmacopuncture is a new needle therapy that integrates acupuncture and herbal therapies, and it has the potential to treat many diseases. A systematic review was performed to summarize and critically evaluate clinical trial evidence regarding the effectiveness of pharmacopuncture for asthma. Eight electronic databases and six journals were searched in this study. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in which human patients with asthma were treated with pharmacopuncture were included. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were performed independently by two reviewers. Four RCTs met our inclusion criteria, and the evidence from all RCTs in this study was positive. The meta-analysis showed statistically significant effects of pharmacopuncture compared to conventional treatment (n=341, Risk Ratio=1.13, 95% CI of 1.05 to 1.23, P=.002, heterogeneity: χ2=3.55, P=.31, I2=16%). Two trials showed favorable effects of pharmacopuncture on peak expiratory flow (PEF). However, few rigorous trials have tested the effects of pharmacopuncture on asthma. The results of our systematic review point to the potential benefits of pharmacopuncture for adults with asthma, and we suggest further RCTs and the development of a standard method of pharmacopuncture therapy.