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

  • Kulthida Rithirangsriroj
    Affiliations
    Gynecologic Oncology Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
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  • Tarinee Manchana
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Gynecologic Oncology Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. Fax: +66 2 2527376.
    Affiliations
    Gynecologic Oncology Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
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  • Lanchasak Akkayagorn
    Affiliations
    Cheewabhibaln Center, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital Bangkok, Thailand
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Published:October 31, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.10.025

      Highlights

      • Acupuncture is effective in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting especially delayed nausea.
      • Acupuncture may be used as an alternative treatment option for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

      Abstract

      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 5 mg orally twice a day for 3 days. Patients were given additional does of ondansetron 4 mg orally every 12 h 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.

      Keywords

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