Objective: to compare the effectiveness of ginger and vitamin B6 for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.
Methods: double-blind randomised controlled trial. Pregnant women with nausea, who first attended the antenatal clinic at or before 17 weeks gestation, were invited to participate in the study. Over a 3-month period, 70 women were randomised to receive either ginger 1g/day or vitamin B6 40 mg/day for 4 days. Subjects graded the severity of their nausea using a visual analogue scale, and recorded the number of vomiting episodes in the 24 hours before treatment and during 4 consecutive days while taking treatment. At 7-day follow-up, women reported any changes in the severity of their symptoms.
Results: compared with baseline, the decrease in the visual analogue scores of post-therapy nausea in the ginger group was significantly greater than that for the vitamin B6 group (p = 0.024). The number of vomiting episodes decreased in both groups, and there was no significant difference between the groups. In the ginger group, 29/35 women reported an improvement in nausea symptoms, compared with 23/34 women in the vitamin B6 group (p = 0.52).
Conclusion: ginger is more effective than vitamin B6 for relieving the severity of nausea, and is equally effective for decreasing the number of vomiting episodes in early pregnancy.