Research Articles | Challenge Journal of Perioperative Medicine

Frequency and importance of herbal use among presurgical patients: A prospective cohort study

Ayse Zeynep Turan Cıvraz, Sema Candan

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Aim: Herbal medicine has been used by humankind since ancient times. However, its popularity has increased in the last 20-30 years. In addition to the production, presentation and marketing of herbal medicines, their effects on the body are also very complex. Uncertainty about the effects of these drugs on the body has increased the importance of pre-anesthetic evaluation. To determine the frequency of herbal drug use in patients presenting for preoperative evaluation and to highlight its importance in anesthetic practice.

Method: It was designed as a prospective study with observational-analytical character. Patients over 12 years of age presenting to the Anesthesia Outpatient Clinic of our hospital for pre-anesthetic assessment were interviewed about their use of herbal medicines for 2 months. Patients who used herbal medicines were asked about the medicines they used.

Results: A total of 2712 patients were evaluated. Of the patients attending the outpatient clinic, 2367 were over 12 years of age. The use of herbal drugs was found to be 1.18% (n=28). Among the patients who used herbal medicines, 53.6% were female and the mean age was 52.18±15.87 years. The most commonly used herbal medicines were black cumin, green tea, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and olive leaf.

Conclusions: The use of herbal medicines may be much higher than detected in patients presenting for pre-anesthetic examination. As the effects of herbal products are very uncertain, they may interact with anesthetic drugs. They can prolong bleeding time, increase blood pressure and cause heart problems. For these reasons, they should be closely questioned in the pre-anesthetic examination and discontinued before surgery.


anesthesia; herbal medicine; preanesthetic examination; presurgical patients

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