Research Article

Traditional Chinese acupuncture: a potentially useful antiemetic?

BMJ 1986; 293 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.293.6547.583 (Published 06 September 1986) Cite this as: BMJ 1986;293:583
  1. J W Dundee,
  2. W N Chestnutt,
  3. R G Ghaly,
  4. A G Lynas

    Abstract

    Two consecutive studies were undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture as an antiemetic used in addition to premedication with opioids in patients undergoing minor gynaecological operations. In the first study 25 of the 50 patients underwent acupuncture immediately after premedication with 100 mg meptazinol, the rest receiving the drug alone, and in the second 75 patients were allocated randomly to one of three groups: a group receiving 10 mg nalbuphine and acupuncture, a group receiving premedication and dummy acupuncture, and a group receiving premedication alone. Manual needling for five minutes at the P6 acupuncture point (Neiguan) resulted in a significant reduction in perioperative nausea and vomiting in the 50 patients who underwent acupuncture compared with the 75 patients who received no acupuncture. These findings cannot be explained, but it is recommended that the use of acupuncture as an antiemetic should be explored further.