Background: To determine whether low dosages of prednisolone are effective in the treatment of outpatients with hyperemesis gravidarum.
Methods: Eighty pregnant women with gestational ages of 6 to 12 weeks and persistent nausea and vomiting participated. The women were assigned by simple randomization to receive prednisolone 5 mg daily or promethazine 75 mg daily by oral route for 10 days. The severity of nausea, frequency of vomiting per day, sickness and the drugs' side-effects were compared (Fisher's exact test, Mann-Whitney U-test, Odds Ratio test).
Results: The women who received promethazine responded better in the first 48 h (p = 0.02). With continuation of the treatment, the difference decreased, and one week after completion of the treatment, the subjects who had received prednisolone had less symptoms.
Conclusion: Promethazine reduces the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum faster than prednisolone, but during prolonged treatment, prednisolone has at least the same effects on the symptoms and less drug side-effects.