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J R Soc Med. 1990 June; 83(6): 360–362.
PMCID: PMC1292684

Prolongation of the antiemetic action of P6 acupuncture by acupressure in patients having cancer chemotherapy.


Previous work from our department has shown that P6 acupuncture is an effective adjuvant to conventional antiemetic therapy for patients having cytotoxic drugs. However, its efficacy is limited to about 8 h. The current studies show that the application of an elasticized wrist band with a stud placed over the acupuncture point, and pressed regularly every 2 h, will prolong the antiemetic action for 24 h. This proved more effective in hospitalized patients (20/20) than in outpatients (15/20), presumably due to the encouragement given to regularly press the stud. Nausea and vomiting remain problems with cancer chemotherapy despite the use of antiemetics. Following encouraging results with P6 acupuncture (ACP) in postoperative sickness this has been shown to be effective in cancer chemotherapy in 105 patients who, despite the use of conventional antiemetics had been sick following the previous treatment. Electrical stimulation (10 Hz DC) of P6 point for 5 min before administration of the cytotoxic drugs was effective in preventing sickness in 66% and only 6% got no benefit. The ACP was given with the antiemetics which the patients had been receiving. Although there were no side effects with the ACP, the benefit only lasted 6-8 h. This was not important in hospitalized patients where the treatment could be repeated, but was a problem with outpatients. It has been shown that pressure on the P6 point (acupressure) has an antiemetic action. A commercially available elasticized band with a plastic stud (Sea Band) is an effective method of applying pressure to P6 point.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Selected References

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