Herbal Supplements: Facts and Myths—Talking to Your Patients About Herbal Supplements

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Abstract

The use of herbal supplements in the United States is steadily growing and raises concerns about safety, efficacy, and how they affect safe patient care. The direct health risks associated with herbal supplements include hypertension, prolonged bleeding, and the potential for drug–herb interactions. These potential drug interactions are of particular concern for patients undergoing anesthesia. This article provides a review of literature on the 10 most popular herbal supplements and addresses the herbal supplements' reported use, possible adverse effect(s), patient teaching, possible drug interaction(s), and recommendations regarding discontinuation before surgery.

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