Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  
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SPECIAL ARTICLE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 184-192

Effect of common herbal medicines on patients undergoing anaesthesia


1 MD, FAMS (Professor), Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160012, India
2 MD, Senior Resident, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160012, India

Correspondence Address:
Yatindra Kumar Batra
Professor, Department of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh 160012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Herbal medicines are the oldest known remedies to mankind. Herbs have been used by all cultures throughout history but India has one of the oldest, and most diverse cultural living traditions associated with the use of medicinal plants. The use of these agents may have perioperative implications, which often is a result of various factors. The constituents of these medications may not be adequately described. Conventional agents like ste­roids, oral hypoglycaemic agent, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents and antihistamines are frequently added to herbal medicines. Toxic materials like arsenic, mercury, lead, etc. have been detected from time to time in some herbs. The use of herbal medicines can result in drug interactions, most of which are less well defined. The interactions that are most important in the perioperative period include sympathomimetic, sedative, and coagulopathic effects. Less than 50% of patients admit to taking these medicines, which compounds the prob­lem. It is imperative that anaesthesiologists obtain a history of herbal medicine use from patients and anticipate the adverse drug interactions. In case of any doubt, it may be prudent to stop these herbal medicines atleast 2­3 weeks prior to anaesthesia and surgery.


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