Manual acupuncture reduces hyperemesis gravidarum: a placebo-controlled, randomized, single-blind, crossover study

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000 Oct;20(4):273-9. doi: 10.1016/s0885-3924(00)00185-8.


Hyperemesis gravidarum, severe vomiting, develops in about 1-2% of all pregnancies. Acupuncture on the point PC6 above the wrist on the palmar side has been found to prevent some types of nausea and vomiting. The purpose of the present study was to see if acupuncture, in addition to standard treatment, could hasten the improvement of hyperemesis gravidarum. Thirty-three women with hyperemesis were evaluated in a randomized, single-blind, crossover comparison of two methods of acupuncture, active (deep) PC6 acupuncture or placebo (superficial) acupuncture. The women estimated their degree of nausea on a visual analogue scale (VAS). The daily number of emesis episodes were documented. Crossover analyses showed that there was a significantly faster reduction of nausea VAS and more women who stopped vomiting after active acupuncture than after placebo acupuncture. This study suggests that active PC6 acupuncture, in combination with standard treatment, could make women with hyperemesis gravidarum better faster than placebo acupuncture.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / adverse effects
  • Acupuncture Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Demography
  • Eating / physiology
  • Eating / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / prevention & control
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / psychology
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / therapy*
  • Infusion Pumps / statistics & numerical data
  • Nausea / physiopathology
  • Nausea / prevention & control
  • Nausea / therapy
  • Patient Selection
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Vomiting / physiopathology
  • Vomiting / prevention & control
  • Vomiting / therapy