It’s not unusual to see patients in our practice taking herbal supplements. We don’t weigh in one way or another on the efficacy of “natural” vitamins and supplements but we do caution our patients who are considering having a surgical procedure done against taking them prior to and after their surgery.
While every patient experience is different, what many may not realize is that these supplements may cause abnormal blood pressure, heart rates, and bleeding. They may also interfere with other medications, including anesthesia during your surgery.
We generally recommend to our patients that they disclose any “over-the-counter” medication they are taking (including aspirin, herbs, vitamins and dietary supplements) to their physician. We also ask patients to stop taking them one week prior to surgery to reduce their risk of excessive bleeding, or negative interactions with other medications that we prescribe to treat orthopaedic problems and manage pain.
Not sure if your supplement may be a problem? Here’s a list of common herbal supplements that we recommend against:
- Dong Quai
- Gingko Biloba
- White Willow Bark (salix alba)
- Devil’s Claw (harpagophytum procumbens)
- Turmeric (curcuma longa)
- Boswellia (bosellia serrata)
- Stinging Nettle (urtica dioica)
- Cat’s Claw (uncaria tomentosa)
- Omega-3 FA
- St. John’s Wort
If you’re a patient and have questions about how a supplement you may be taking may interact with your prescribed medication, please contact our office.