Oral administration of ginger was safe and effective for treating vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis, according to new research presented at the ESPGHAN annual meeting.
Ginger is known to be effective for treating vomiting in pregnant women and adults undergoing chemotherapy, but this is the first time it has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of vomiting in children, according to a press release.
Investigators said these findings suggest ginger could help to reduce hospital admissions and missed days of school due to acute gastroenteritis, a common cause of pediatric emergency department visits, and a leading global cause of childhood mortality, causing 1.34 million annual childhood deaths and accounting for about 15% of all childhood deaths.
“Acute gastroenteritis is not just an unpleasant condition for children. It has a significant burden on parents, schools and healthcare systems,” Roberto Berni Canani, MD, PhD, from University Frederico II in Napoli, Italy, said in a press release. “We anticipate that the results will have a great impact on future clinical practice and the advice given to parents in the treatment of acute gastroenteritis and could potentially save lives across Europe and the globe.”
In a double-blind trial, Canani and colleagues randomly assigned 141 children with suspected acute gastroenteritis to receive 10 mg ginger or placebo followed by oral rehydration, and then additional treatment with ginger or placebo every 8 hours as needed.
After the first dose, significantly fewer children who received ginger continued to have vomiting episodes compared with those who received placebo (66.7% vs. 86.7%; P = .05). Further, those who received ginger showed a significantly lower number of daily vomiting episodes following treatment, and a significantly lower number of school days missed. Both groups showed comparable diarrhea duration.
The ginger was well-tolerated, and no hospitalizations or adverse events occurred in either group.
“Research should now focus on whether ginger could also be effective in treating vomiting children who are not affected by acute gastroenteritis,” Canani said in the press release. – by Adam Leitenberger
Canani RB, et al. Abstract G-O-053. Presented at: ESPGHAN 51st Annual Meeting; May 9-12, 2018; Geneva, Switzerland.
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.