Bee venom therapy

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Bee venom therapy or BVT or bee sting therapy or apitherapy is an alternative treatment proposed to result in possible health benefits in some medical conditions,[1][2] although it has not been proposed or investigated in patients with ME/CFS. It is sometimes used in traditional Korean medicine.[1]

Bee venom therapy can take several different forms:

  • live bee stings under the supervision of a trained practioner
  • bee venom acupuncture (BVA), or
  • bee venom injections[1]

Theory[edit | edit source]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Clinical trials have not been conducted for ME/CFS patients so potential harms have not been identified,[1] and it is not known if this would be safe or effective.

A randomized crossover study of bee sting therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis by Wesselius et al. (2005) reported:

"There was no improvement of disability, fatigue, and quality of life. Bee sting therapy was well tolerated, and there were no serious adverse events."[3]

Clinicians[edit | edit source]

The use of bee venom therapy for ME/CFS patients has not been proposed or investigated by researchers or specialists in ME/CFS treatment, although a variety of other conventional and alternative treatments have been investigated.[4][5]

Risks and safety[edit | edit source]

Unknown in ME/CFS patients, however clinical trials in other patient groups have shown high levels of adverse reactions.[1][2]

Live bee stings involve apply bee venom directly to the skin (not injecting it) and has a high risk of adverse reactions. Bee venom acupuncture, which involves injecting bee venom diluted to a ratio of less than 1:10,000 to acupoints has a significantly lower rate of side effects.[1]

Costs and availability[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Jang, Soobin; Kim, Kyeong Han (September 2020). "Clinical Effectiveness and Adverse Events of Bee Venom Therapy: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials". Toxins. 12 (9): 558. doi:10.3390/toxins12090558. ISSN 2072-6651. PMC 7551670. PMID 32872552.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Park, Jeong Hwan; Yim, Bo Kyung; Lee, Jun-Hwan; Lee, Sanghun; Kim, Tae-Hun (May 21, 2015). "Risk Associated with Bee Venom Therapy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". PLOS ONE. 10 (5): e0126971. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126971. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4440710. PMID 25996493.
  3. Wesselius, T.; Heersema, D.J.; Mostert, J.P.; Heerings, M.; Admiraal-Behloul, F.; Talebian, A.; Buchem, M. A. van; Keyser, J. De (December 13, 2005). "A randomized crossover study of bee sting therapy for multiple sclerosis". Neurology. 65 (11): 1764–1768. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000184442.02551.4b. ISSN 0028-3878. PMID 16221950.
  4. Werbach, Melvyn R. (May 2000). "Nutritional Strategies for Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (PDF). Alternative Medicine Review. 5 (2): 93–108.
  5. Porter, Nicole S.; Jason, Leonard A.; Boulton, Aaron; Bothne, Nancy; Coleman, Blair (March 2010). "Alternative medical interventions used in the treatment and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia" (PDF). Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.). 16 (3): 235–249. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0376. ISSN 1557-7708. PMID 20192908.