Objective: To compare the effectiveness of ginger and vitamin B6 for treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
Design: Randomized double-blind controlled trial.
Setting: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Medical College and Vajira Hospital.
Material and method: One hundred and twenty-six pregnant women, with a gestational age of < or = 16 weeks who had nausea and vomiting, required anti-emetics, had no medical complication, and were not hospitalized. Pregnant women were randomly allocated to receive either 650 mg of ginger or 25 mg of vitamin B6. They were given three times per day for 4 days. The degree of nausea and vomiting were assessed by three physical symptoms of Rhode's score (episodes of nausea, duration of nausea and number of vomits). These were recorded 24 hours before treatment for baseline and each subsequent day of treatment. Difference of baseline and post-treatment nausea vomiting scores were calculated for both groups during 4 days of treatment.
Results: One hundred and twenty-three women returned to follow-up. Ginger and vitamin B6 significantly reduced nausea and vomiting scores from 8.7 +/- 2.2 to 5.4 +/- 2.0 and 8.3 +/- 2.5 to 5.7 +/- 2.3 respectively, (p < 0.05). The mean score change after treatment with ginger was greater than with vitamin B6 (3.3 +/- 1.5 versus 2.6 +/- 1.3), (p < 0.05). There were some minor side effects in both groups 25.4% and 23.8% (p = 0.795) respectively, such as sedation, heartburn, arrhythmia.
Conclusion: Both ginger and vitamin B6 were effective for treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Moreover, ginger was more effective than vitamin B6. Side effects from ginger were reported to be minor and did not need any treatment.