OK, you’re scheduled for surgery, and you take herbals.

Does your surgeon know what you take?

Be smart. If you use any of the herbals on this list, tell your surgeon.

  • Danshen: May cause bleeding
  • Dong quai: May cause bleeding
  • Echinacea: May interfere with immune functioning, may alter effectiveness of immunosuppressant drugs given after transplant surgery
  • Ephedra: May cause abnormal heartbeat, may cause extreme high blood pressure and coma if combined with certain antidepressants and anesthesia
  • Feverfew: May cause bleeding
  • Garlic: May cause bleeding, may interfere with normal blood clotting
  • Ginger: May cause bleeding
  • Ginkgo: May cause bleeding
  • Ginseng: May cause bleeding, may cause rapid heartbeat, may cause high blood pressure
  • Goldenseal: May cause or worsen high blood pressure
  • Kava: May enhance sedative effects of anesthesia
  • Licorice (not including licorice candy): May increase blood pressure
  • Senna: May cause electrolyte imbalance
  • St. John’s wort: May increase or decrease the effects of some drugs used during and after surgery
  • Valerian: May interfere with the effects of anesthesia

Thanks to MayoClinic.com.

9/10/06 11:26 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 www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.