[Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis by Bee-venom Acupuncture].Zhen Ci Yan Jiu 2018; 43(4):251-4ZC
To study the clinical efficacy and safety of bee-venom acupuncture therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
A total of 120 cases of RA patients were randomized into bee-sting acupuncture group (treatment) and western medicine group (control) in accordance with the random number table. The patients of the control group were treated by oral administration of Methotrexate (10 mg, once a week) and Celecoxlb (0.2 g, once a day), and those of the treatment group treated by 5 to 15 bee stings of Ashi-points or acupoints according to different conditions and corporeity, and with the bee-sting retained for about 5 min every time, once every other day. The treatment lasted for 8 weeks. The therapeutic effect was assessed by examining symptoms and signs of the affected joints as morning stiffness duration, swollen/tender joint counts (indexes), handgrip strength, 15 m-walking time, visual analogue scale (VAS), Disease Activity Score including a 28-joint count (DAS 28), rheumatoid factor (RF), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (ACCPA); and for assessing the safety of bee-venom acupuncture, the patients' responses of fever, enlargement of lymph nodes, regional red and swollen, itching, blood and urine tests for routine were examined.
Findings of DAS 28 responses displayed that of the two 60 cases in the control and bee-venom acupuncture groups, 15 and 18 experienced marked improvement, 33 and 32 were effective, 12 and 10 ineffective, with the effective rates being 80% and 83. 33%, respectively. No significant difference was found between the two groups in the effective rate (P>0.05). After the treatment, both groups have witnessed a marked decrease in the levels of morning stiffness duration, arthralgia index, swollen joint count index, joint tenderness index, 15 m walking time, VAS, RF, ESR, CRP and ACCPA, and an obvious increase of handgrip strength relevant to their own levels of pre-treatment in each group (P<0.05). There were no significant differences between the two groups in the abovementioned indexes (P>0.05). The routine blood test, routine urine test, routine stool test, electrocardiogram result, the function of liver and kidney and other security index were within the normal range, without any significant adverse effects found after bee-stinging treatment.
Bee-venom acupuncture therapy for RA patients is safe and effective, worthy of popularization and application in clinical practice.