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Many women across the globe experience extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). The condition is extremely uncomfortable, turning the dream of pregnancy and childbearing into a nightmare.

A University at Buffalo-led study enrolled 21 women that suffer from extreme nausea during pregnancy and the subjects were treated with a seizure therapy called gabapentin. The researchers observed that the treatment was effective in easing pregnancy nausea. The research findings are available in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

The study was the first randomized and placebo-controlled trial to showcase the effectiveness of treating HG. The researchers split the subjects into two groups where 12 of them were treated with gabapentin while the remaining 9 patients were treated with oral metoclopramide or oral ondansetron. They were treated for a week and patients received diaries on which they recorded their progress during the week. They recorded oral nutrition, retching, nausea, and vomiting data on the diaries.

Neurology professor, Dr. Thomas Guttuso, Jr. excitedly revealed that Gabapentin was the first treatment that managed to reduce vomiting and nausea. Nausea and vomiting in pregnant women treated with gabapentin declined by 52 percent compared to pregnant women treated with standard anti-nausea therapies.

Researchers also found that gabapentin elicited a 96 percent oral nutrition score boost while outcome satisfaction in patients was up by 254 percent compared with standard treatment satisfaction rates. The study findings were quite promising considering the impressive gains in terms of relief from vomiting and nausea that the seizure therapy delivered against HG.

Dr. Vanessa Barnabei pointed out that HG is a tough medical condition to manage and that it can get extremely uncomfortable during pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women experience it and cannot avoid it since they want to have children and do what is best for their unborn children. Doctors reported that many women visit the hospital to seek medical aid when they have not had any food to eat for 2 or three days because they cannot eat without throwing up. The Gabapentin study and its findings present an opportunity to significantly ease nausea so that women with HG will have an easier time during pregnancy.