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Does the Oral Administration of Ginger Reduce Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting?

A Meta-analysis of 10 Randomized Controlled Trials

Chang, Wen P., PhD; Peng, Yu X., SN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000648
Article: PDF Only

Background Preclinical tests in animals have shown that ginger extract can be used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV); however, research findings in clinical trials have not been conclusive.

Objective Through this meta-analysis, we aimed to determine whether ginger could be used to treat CINV, which was interpreted using the PICOS (patient, problem/population, intervention, comparison, outcome, study) framework, with P being patients who underwent chemotherapy; I being 0.5 to 2.0 g/d of Zingiberaceae, Zintoma, dry ginger, ginger capsules, powdered ginger root, Zingiber officinale Roscoe, ginger extract, powdered ginger, 6-gingerol, or shogalos; C being placebo or standard care; and O being the relief, reduction, or improvement of CINV.

Method Via systematic literature review, we searched for studies in English from 2000 to 2017 in databases. We conducted a meta-analysis using Comprehensive Meta-analysis 2 on a total of 10 studies with complete data.

Results The odds ratio (OR) of ginger in controlling CINV was 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54–0.94; P = .015). Heterogeneity existed among the samples; therefore, we proceeded with a subgroup analysis and divided nausea and vomiting into acute or delayed. The results revealed that ginger could only reduce acute CINV in patients (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.42–0.86; P = .006), particularly acute vomiting (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37–0.94; P = .025).

Conclusions Ginger displayed significant efficacy with regard to controlling CINV in the experimental groups.

Implications for Practice Our results could provide a reference for antiemetic methods to treat CINV and facilitate support for more clinical trials in the future to establish relevant guidelines.

Author Affiliations: Taipei Medical University–Shuang Ho Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, New Taipei City (Dr Chang); School of Nursing, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei (Dr Chang); and Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Tzu Chi University, Hualien (Mr Peng), Taiwan.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Wen P. Chang, PhD, Department of Nursing, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, No. 291, Zhongzheng Rd, Zhonghe, New Taipei 23561, Taiwan (

Accepted for publication July 3, 2018.

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