Treatments for Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

Catherine McParlin, Amy O’Donnell, S. C. (Stephen) Robson, Fiona Beyer, Eoin Moloney, Andrew Bryant, Jennifer Bradley, Colin Muirhead, Catherine Nelson-Piercy, Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Justine Norman, Caroline Shaw, Emma Simpson, Brian Swallow, Laura Yates, Luke Vale

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    Abstract

    IMPORTANCE Nausea and vomiting affects approximately 85%of pregnant women. The most severe form, hyperemesis gravidarum, affects up to 3%of women and can have significant adverse physical and psychological sequelae. OBJECTIVE To summarize current evidence on effective treatments for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum. EVIDENCE REVIEW Databases were searched to June 8, 2016. Relevant websites and bibliographies were also searched. Titles and abstracts were assessed independently by 2 reviewers. Results were narratively synthesized; planned meta-analysis was not possible because of heterogeneity and incomplete reporting of findings. FINDINGS Seventy-eight studies (n = 8930 participants) were included: 67 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 11 nonrandomized studies. Evidence from 35 RCTs at low risk of bias indicated that ginger, vitamin B6, antihistamines, metoclopramide (for mild symptoms), pyridoxine-doxylamine, and ondansetron (for moderate symptoms) were associated with improved symptoms compared with placebo. One RCT (n = 86) reported greater improvements in moderate symptoms following psychotherapy (change in Rhodes score [range, 0 {no symptoms} to 40 {worst possible symptoms}], 18.76 [SD, 5.48] to 7.06 [SD, 5.79] for intervention vs 19.18 [SD, 5.63] to 12.81 [SD, 6.88] for comparator [P < .001]). For moderate-severe symptoms, 1 RCT (n = 60) suggested that pyridoxine-doxylamine combination taken preemptively reduced risk of recurrence of moderate-severe symptoms compared with treatment once symptoms begin (15.4%vs 39.1% [P < .04]). One RCT (n = 83) found that ondansetron was associated with lower nausea scores on day 4 than metoclopramide (mean visual analog scale [VAS] score, 4.1 [SD, 2.9] for ondansetron vs 5.7 [SD, 2.3] formetoclopramide [P = .023]) but not episodes of emesis (5.0 [SD, 3.1] vs 3.3 [SD, 3], respectively [P = .013]). Although therewas no difference in trend in nausea scores over the 14-day study period, trend in vomiting scoreswas better in the ondansetron group (P = .042). One RCT (n = 159) found no difference between metoclopramide and promethazine after 24 hours (episodes of vomiting, 1 [IQR, 0-5] for metoclopramide vs 2 [IQR, 0-3] for promethazine [P = .81], VAS [0-10 scale] for nausea, 2 [IQR, 1-5] vs 2 [IQR, 1-4], respectively [P = .99]). Three RCTs compared corticosteroids with placebo or promethazine or metoclopramide inwomen with severe symptoms. Improvementswere seen in all corticosteroid groups, but only a significant difference between corticosteroids vs metoclopramidewas reported (emesis reduction, 40.9%vs 16.5%at day 2; 71.6%vs 51.2%at day 3; 95.8% vs 76.6%at day 7 [n = 40, P < .001]). For other interventions, evidencewas limited. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE For mild symptoms of nausea and emesis of pregnancy, ginger, pyridoxine, antihistamines, and metoclopramide were associated with greater benefit than placebo. For moderate symptoms, pyridoxine-doxylamine, promethazine, and metoclopramide were associated with greater benefit than placebo. Ondansetron was associated with improvement for a range of symptom severity. Corticosteroids may be associated with benefit in severe cases. Overall the quality of evidence was low.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-
    JournalJAMA
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2016

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