Can ginger be used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy (morning sickness), motion sickness, chemotherapy or surgery?
Ginger, used at recommended doses for no more than 5 days, may have modest value in treating nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Unanswered questions remain about safety and effectiveness with long-term use during pregnancy. If you are pregant and considering taking ginger, talk with your doctor first.
Supporting evidence is lacking regarding the effectiveness of ginger in treating nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy or surgery. The value of ginger in preventing and managing the symptoms of motion sickness has not been documented.
What is the "dose" of ginger?
For short-term treatment of morning sickness, dried doses of ginger, 250 mg 4 times daily, have been used. For managing motion sickness in adults, a 1000 mg dose of dried, powdered ginger root taken 30 minutes before beginning travel, followed by 1 or 2 more 500 mg doses every 4 hours, as needed, has been used with mixed results.
Ginger used as a medicine is not recommended in those younger than 18. Use in pregnancy should be for no more than 5 days. Ginger use is not recommended for breastfeeding women.
Is ginger safe?
The most common side effects from ginger supplements are a bad taste in the mouth, heartburn, bloating, gas, and nausea. Ginger may interfere with the blood clotting process. Ginger may increase stomach acid production.
Does ginger interact with other drugs?
Ginger supplements may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin®), aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix®) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen (Advil®) or naproxen (Aleve®). In patients taking an antacid or acid-reducer like Zantac®, Pepcid®, Prilosec®, Prevacid®, Nexium® or Protonix®, ginger supplements may prevent these drugs from producing their full benefit.
What are my alternatives to ginger?
In morning sickness, vitamin B6 supplements may be employed. If you are pregant and considering taking ginger, talk with your doctor first.
Drugs such as Dramamine® are frequently used to treat motion sickness. More powerful prescription drugs, such as Compazine® and Zofran®, may be required to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.