Acupuncture/ pressureNausea/VomitingSurgery

Magnetic acupuncture for post-op nausea and vomiting

 This study assessed magnetic acupressure to prevent nausea and vomiting following ear-nose-throat (ENT) or gynecological surgeries.

But should we apply these findings to other forms of acupuncture?

First, the details.

  • 58 patients were randomly assigned to a magnet patch or a placebo patch.
    • 33 had ENT procedures
    • 25 had gynecological procedures
  • The patch was applied to the P6 site 15 minutes before surgery.
  • Anesthesia was standardized for all patients.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers were aware of the treatment assigned — double-blind.

And, the results.

  • There was no difference in the incidence of nausea and vomiting between magnet treatment (47%) and placebo (54%).
  • Patients receiving the magnet had a similar satisfaction level (75% satisfied) vs placebo (73% satisfied).
  • Magnet-treated patients had similar pain and nausea and vomiting scores to placebo.
  • A similar percentage of patients in each group received postoperative pain drugs.
  • There was no difference in the use of antiemetics.

The bottom line?
The negative results should probably not be applied to all forms of acupuncture.


  • Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina reported that acupuncture may be a useful adjunct for acute postoperative pain management.
  • A study reported at the American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting concluded that 2 hours after surgery, significantly more patients receiving acupuncture had no nausea or vomiting and required no antiemetics to reduce nausea and vomiting compared to placebo.

2/5/09 21:30 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.