Herbal and Dietary Supplement Use and Anesthesia

Herbal and Dietary Supplement Use and Anesthesia

Americans spend more than $27 billion a year on herbal supplements and other “alternative medicines,” often without realizing how potent they can be. Unlike prescription medications, herbal remedies are not subject to government regulations, and their manufacturers do not have to prove efficacy or track side effects. The American Society of Anesthesiologists urges patients to tell their anesthesiologist about any medications they are taking, including all vitamins, herbal supplements and other alternative substances. These products can interfere with anesthesia and potentially cause complications during surgery. Be sure to bring all substances with you, prescription or over-the-counter, when you meet with your anesthesiologist before surgery and on the day of your procedure.

This video explains in detail the potential effects of herbal remedies on surgical patients. The ASA urges all patients to watch the video and discuss it with your primary physician and the anesthesiologist who will be responsible for your safety during surgery

Running time:


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Join the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2014.



American Society of Anesthesiologists