Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) are major adverse effects of chemotherapy. Ginger has been used in postoperative and pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Data on its utility in reducing CINV in children and young adults are lacking.
Patients and methods: Sixty chemotherapy cycles of cisplatin/doxorubicin in bone sarcoma patients were randomized to ginger root powder capsules or placebo capsules as an additional antiemetic to ondensetron and dexamethasone in a double-blind design. Acute CINV was defined as nausea and vomiting occurring within 24 hr of start of chemotherapy (days 1-4) and delayed CINV as that occurring after 24 hr of completion of chemotherapy (days 5-10). CINV was evaluated as per Edmonton's Symptom Assessment Scale and National Cancer Institute criteria respectively.
Results: Acute moderate to severe nausea was observed in 28/30 (93.3%) cycles in control group as compared to 15/27 (55.6%) cycles in experimental group (P = 0.003). Acute moderate to severe vomiting was significantly more in the control group compared to the experimental group [23/30 (76.7%) vs. 9/27 (33.33%) respectively (P= 0.002)]. Delayed moderate to severe nausea was observed in 22/30 (73.3%) cycles in the control group as compared to 7/27 (25.9%) in the experimental group (P < 0.001). Delayed moderate to severe vomiting was significantly more in the control group compared to the experimental group [14/30 (46.67%) vs. 4/27 (14.81%) (P = 0.022)].
Conclusion: Ginger root powder was effective in reducing severity of acute and delayed CINV as additional therapy to ondensetron and dexamethasone in patients receiving high emetogenic chemotherapy (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00940368).
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