The trial involved laser acupuncture plus opiate therapy and phenobarbital versus a group that got the same drugs but not the acupuncture. The acupuncture was performed daily at five ear and four body points bilaterally with the primary outcome being duration of oral opiate use.
Interestingly enough, the use of acupuncture significantly and substantively reduced the duration of oral morphine therapy in the 14 babies studied compared to the 14 control infants.
Secondary outcomes like reduced length of stay also were reported for the babies getting acupuncture. We realize the number of infants in this study is small but also believe that publishing this article will enable others who might not have thought have adding laser acupuncture to the NAS regiment to consider testing this therapy with larger trials than just the one we are sharing. Have you ever heard of this? Would you try it or have you already?
There are many questions raised from cost to side effects in using laser acupuncture yet to be addressed (although serious adverse effects were not reported in this study) and hopefully readers who take care of NAS babies will take the next steps and further consider adding this treatment or at least studying it as a result of the data shared in this article. Let us know your take on this study by responding to this blog, sending us an e-letter or Tweet or posting a comment on our Facebook site.