Success of acupuncture and acupressure of the Pc 6 acupoint in the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum.

Habek D, Barbir A, Habek JC, Janculiak D, Bobić-Vuković M.

Clinical Hospital Osijek, Croatia.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiemetic effect of acupuncture (AP) and acupressure (APr) of the Pc 6 acupoint in pregnant women with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). METHODS: A prospective, placebo-controlled trial included 36 pregnant women with HG. Two methods of acupuncture were used: bilateral manual AP of the Pc 6 (Neiguan) acupoint (group 1, n = 10) and bilateral APr of the Pc 6 acupoint (group 2, n = 11); furthermore, superficial intracutaneous placebo AP (group 3, n = 8) and placebo APr (group 4, n = 7) was carried out. RESULTS: Anxiodepressive symptoms occurred in 9 pregnant women with HG from group 1, 8 women from group 2, 7 women from group 3, and 5 women from group 4 (p < 0.001). The average gestation age at the occurrence of HG symptoms and the beginning of treatment was 7 weeks in group 1 and 8 weeks in groups 2, 3, and 4. Four women from group 1 and 7 women from groups 2, 3, an 4 needed intravenous compensation of liquid and electrolytes. The antiemetic metoclopramide was given intravenously to 1 woman from group 1, 2 women from group 2, 6 women from group 3, and 4 women from group 4. Promethazine was given to 1 woman from group 2, 1 woman from group 3, and to 3 women from group 4. The efficiency of the HG treatment with AP of the point Pc 6 was 90%, with APr of the Pc 6 63.6%, with placebo AP 12.5%, and with placebo APr 0%. CONCLUSION: Acupuncture (p < 0.0001) and acupressure (p < 0.1) are effective, nonpharmacologic methods for the treatment of HG. acupuncture

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