Ugeskr Læger 2003;165(35): 3320-3.
Summary Surgery patients' intake of herbal medicine. Ugeskr Læger 2002;165: 3320-3. Introduction: Herbal medicine is being frequently used by patients around the world. Several products may interact with ordinary medicine, so it is important for doctors to know what kind of herbal medicines their patients take. Material and methods: A questionnaire was given to presurgery patients during a two-month period. Results: A total of 115 consecutive patients responded, 69 women (60%) and 46 men (40%). 50.4% had taken or still took herbal medicine, with the following distribution of gender: women 69.8%, men 30.2%. The age group was 18-82 years. The frequently used herbal medicines were fish oil, ginkgo, Echinacea, Co-Q10, garlic, and hip. Twenty-five patients took nutritional supplements with the following spread of gender: 84% women and 16% men. The frequently used nutritional supplements were Gerimax, LongoVital, and Melbrosia. Not all patients would inform their doctor about their use of herbal medicine. 28,6% retained information because of the doctor and 64,3%, did not perceive herbal medicine as "real medicine". Discussion: It is important for anaesthesiologists to know what specific kind of herbal medicines patients are using before they anaesthetize them as interactions between herbal medicine and anaesthesia are prevalent. Anaesthesiologists have to ask specific questions to receive full information regarding herbal medicines during the preoperative period.