JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Efficacy of acupuncture in prevention of delayed chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting in gynecologic cancer patients

Kulthida Rithirangsriroj, Tarinee Manchana, Lanchasak Akkayagorn
Gynecologic Oncology 2015, 136 (1): 82-6
25449310

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy between acupuncture and ondansetron in the prevention of delayed chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).

METHODS: 70 patients were randomized to receive either 1) acupuncture at P6 point before chemotherapy infusion or 2) ondansetron 8 mg intravenously 30 min before chemotherapy infusion in their first cycle with cross-over of antiemetic regimen in the consecutive cycle. All patients received dexamethasone 5mg orally twice a day for 3 days. Patients were given additional does of ondansetron 4 mg orally every 12h if they experienced emesis. Emetic episode, severity of nausea score of 0-10 and adverse events were recorded. Complete response was defined as no nausea, no vomiting and no requirement of additional antiemetic drugs. FACT-G scale was used to evaluate quality of life (QOL) 7 days after each cycle of chemotherapy.

RESULTS: The acupuncture group had a significantly higher rate of complete response in the prevention of delayed CINV (52.8% and 35.7%, P = 0.02). Compared to another group, the acupuncture group reported significantly lower delayed nausea (45.7% and 65.7%, P = 0.004), nausea score (P < 0.001) and fewer dosages of additional oral ondansetron (P = 0.002). Adverse effects were also significantly lower in the acupuncture group with less frequent constipation (P = 0.02) and insomnia (P = 0.01). Overall FACT-G scores were significantly higher in the acupuncture group.

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture is effective in preventing delayed CINV and in promoting better QOL. With fewer adverse effects, it may be used as an alternative treatment option for CINV.

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