Objectives: To estimate whether the use of ginger to treat nausea or vomiting in pregnancy is equivalent to pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6).
Methods: A randomized, controlled equivalence trial involving 291 women less than 16 weeks pregnant was undertaken at a teaching hospital in Australia. Women took 1.05 g of ginger or 75 mg of vitamin B6 daily for 3 weeks. Differences from baseline in nausea and vomiting scores were estimated for both groups at days 7, 14, and 21.
Results: Ginger was equivalent to vitamin B6 in reducing nausea (mean difference 0.2, 90% confidence interval [CI] -0.3, 0.8), retching (mean difference 0.3; 90% CI -0.0, 0.6) and vomiting (mean difference 0.5; 90% CI 0.0, 0.9), averaged over time, with no evidence of different effects at the 3 time points.
Conclusion: For women looking for relief from their nausea, dry retching, and vomiting, the use of ginger in early pregnancy will reduce their symptoms to an equivalent extent as vitamin B6.
Level of evidence: I