A systematic review of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting

Viljoen, Estelle (2012-03)

Thesis (MNutr)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Background: Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP) is a common medical condition. Due to possible harmful side-effects that conventional medicine may pose to the fetus, many mothers choose not to use it, and are left helpless against NVP. There is a need for alternative treatment to relieve NVP symptoms. Objectives: This systematic review (SR) investigated current evidence regarding ginger for the treatment of NVP. The primary objective was to assess the effectiveness of ginger in treating NVP. The secondary objective was to assess the safety of ginger during pregnancy, by identifying adverse events or side-effects. Search strategy: Electronic search of bibliographic databases (1966-February 2011). Selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of the efficacy of ginger by any route, as treatment for NVP in pregnant women regardless of their age or stage of pregnancy. Data collection and analysis: The principal investigator and independent reviewer individually identified relevant studies, extracted data and assessed trial quality. Data analysis was performed using the RevMan5 software. Differences at the level of p<0.05 were considered to be statistically significant. Results: Eleven RCTs involving 1176 pregnant women were included. The quality of evidence was low, hence the high risk of bias and imprecision of results. Ginger significantly improved the symptoms of nausea when compared to placebo, when comparing the results of this SR to past SRs, and taking into account a meta-analysis performed on two relatively large included studies (mean difference (MD) 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56-1.84, p=0.0002, I2=0%). However, another meta-analysis on two smaller studies indicated no significant improvement in nausea. Ginger did not significantly improve nausea when compared to vitamin B6 (MD 0.34, 95% CI -1.52-2.20, p=0.7, I2=91%). Similarly, ginger did not significantly reduce the number of vomiting episodes during NVP, when compared to placebo, although there was a trend towards improvement (MD 0.72, 95% CI -0.03-1.46, p=0.06, I2=71%). Subgroup analyses performed seemed to favor the lower daily dosage of <1500mg ginger to possibly be more effective for the relief of nausea. Ginger did not pose a significant risk for spontaneous abortion when compared to placebo (RR 3.14, 95% CI 0.65-15.11, p=0.15; I2=0%), or to vitamin B6 (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.17-1.42, p=0.19, I2=40%). Similarly, ginger did not pose a significant risk for the side effects of heartburn or drowsiness when compared to placebo or vitamin B6. When compared to dimenhydrinate, ginger posed a smaller risk for drowsiness (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.03-0.18) and no increased risk for heartburn. Conclusions: This review suggests potential benefits of ginger in reducing nausea symptoms in pregnancy (bearing in mind the limited number of studies, variable outcome reporting and quality of evidence). Ginger did not have a significant impact on vomiting episodes, nor pose a risk for side effects or adverse events during pregnancy. Based on evidence from this SR, ginger could be considered a harmless and possibly effective alternative option for women suffering from the symptoms of NVP. Large RCTs are necessary to confirm the possible benefit of ginger as treatment for NVP.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Agtergrond: Naarheid en vomering tydens swangerskap (NVS) is ‘n algemene mediese toestand. As gevolg van moontlike skadelike newe-effekte wat konvensionele medikasie kan veroorsaak vir die fetus, vermy baie moeders dit en word hulpeloos gelaat teen NVS. Dus is daar behoefte aan alternatiewe behandeling vir NVS. Doelwitte: Hierdie sistematiese literatuuroorsig (SO) het huidige literatuur ondersoek wat verband hou met gemmer vir behandeling van NVS. Die primêre doelwit was om effektiwiteit van gemmer as behandeling vir NVS te assesseer. Die sekondêre doelwit was om veiligheid van gemmer tydens swangerskap te assesseer, deur ongunstige gebeure en newe-effekte te identifiseer. Soektogstrategie: Elektroniese soektog van bibliografiese databasisse (1966-Februarie 2011). Seleksiekriteria: Verewekansigde gekontrolleerde proewe (RCTs) van gemmer deur enige roete as behandeling van NVS, in swanger vroue ongeag ouderdom of stadium van swangerskap. Dataversameling en –analise: Die hoof navorser en ‘n onafhanklike hersiener het individueel relevante studies geidentifiseer, data ekstraksie onderneem en studie-kwaliteit geassesseer. Data-analise is uitgevoer deur die RevMan5 sagteware te gebruik. Verskille by die vlak van p<0.05 was beskou as statisties betekenisvol. Hoof resultate: Elf RCTs waarby 1176 swanger vroue betrokke was, is ingesluit. Die studie-kwaliteit was swak, dus die hoë risiko vir sydigheid en onakkuraatheid van resultate. Gemmer het beduidend die simptome van naarheid verbeter in vergelyking met plasebo, wanneer die resultate van hierdie SO met vorige SO’s vergelyk word, en die meta-analise in ag geneem word wat op twee relatiewe groot ingeslote studies uitgevoer is (gemiddelde verskil (MD) 1.20, 95% vertrouens interval (VI) 0.56-1.84, p=0.0002,I2=0%). Kontrasterend, het ‘n ander meta-analise van twee kleiner studies geen beduidende verbetering in naarheid aangedui nie. Gemmer het nie beduidend naarheid verbeter wanneer dit met vitamien B6 vergelyk word nie (MD 0.34, 95% VI -1.52-2.20, p=0.7, I2=91%). Soortgelyk, het gemmer nie die aantal vomerings-episodes verminder, in verglyking met plasebo nie, maar daar was wel ‘n neiging na verbetering (MD 0.72, 95% VI -0.03-1.46, p=0.06, I2=71%). Die subgroup-analise blyk ten gunste te wees van die laer daaglikse dosis van <1500mg gemmer om meer effektief te wees vir die behandeling van naarheid. Gemmer het nie ‘n beduidende risiko ingehou vir spontane aborsie, wanneer dit vergelyk word met plasebo (relatiewe risiko (RR) 3.14, 95% VI 0.65-15.11,p=0.15;I2=0%), of vitamien B6 nie (RR 0.49, 95% VI 0.17-1.42,p=0.19;I2=40%). Soortgelyk, het gemmer nie ‘n beduidende risiko ingehou vir newe-effekte van sooibrand of duiseligheid, wanneer dit vergelyk word met plasebo of vitamien B6 nie. Wanneer dit vergelyk word met dimenhidrinaat, het gemmer ‘n kleiner risiko ingehou vir duiseligheid (RR 0.08, 95% VI 0.03-0.18) en geen verhoogde risiko vir sooibrand nie. Gevolgtrekkings: Hierdie SO dui ‘n potensiële voordeel van gemmer aan in vermindering van naarheid tydens swangerskap (inagnemend van die klein hoeveelheid studies, wisselende uitkomste-rapportering en studie-kwaliteit). Gemmer het nie ‘n beduidnede impak gehad op vomerings-episodes nie, en ook nie ‘n risiko ingehou vir newe-efekte of ongunstige gebeure tydens swangerskap nie. Volgens bewyse uit hierdie SO, kan gemmer beskou word as ‘n skadelose en moontlike effektiewe alternatiewe opsie vir vroue wat lei aan NVP. Grootskaalse RCTs is nodig om die moontlike voordeel van gemmer as behandeling vir NVS te bevestig.

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