HealthDay News — Transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation (TEAS) may help alleviate withdrawal syndrome in heroin addicts, according to a study published in Pain Medicine.

Da Ma, MD, from Peking University in Beijing, and colleagues examined the therapeutic effect of TEAS for the treatment of withdrawal syndrome in 63 male heroin addicts. Participants were randomized to a TEAS group (31 participants), which received TEAS using the Han’s Acupoint Nerve Stimulator model 200A with two output channels two to three times per day for 10 days, or a control group (32 participants), which underwent a similar procedure, but the leads of the stimulator output were disconnected.

The researchers found that during heroin detoxification, TEAS treatment alleviated withdrawal syndrome. At the beginning of the observation, there was no significant difference between the groups in withdrawal scores. Starting from the second day, there was a more marked drop in withdrawal scores in the TEAS group versus control; the lower level was maintained for the course of treatment. In the TEAS group, the area under the curve of withdrawal score was only 40% of that in the control group, and the buprenorphine requirement was only 10% of that in the control group.

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“The TEAS therapy is warranted to be validated in larger multicenter clinical trials,” the authors write.

One author disclosed inventing the Han’s Acupoint Nerve Stimulator device and having financial ties to Jason Scientific, where the product is manufactured.


  1. Ma D et al. Pain Medicine. 2015; doi:10.1111/pme.12738.