Dietary supplements and the anesthesiologist: Research results and state of the art
Background: There is a growing worldwide trend towards the consumption of nutritional supplements. Patients scheduled for surgery who are users of dietary supplements run the risk of interactions between these substances and drugs used in the perioperative period.
Objectives: To conduct a socio-demographic characterization, and determine the prevalence of nutritional supplement use in people taken to surgery; to offer a reference guideline for use during pre-anesthetic consultation.
Methods: The research team conducted an observational descriptive and cross-sectional study of patients presenting to the pre-anesthetic consultation in thirteen cities; 1130 patients were asked about the use of these substances.
Results: The prevalence of use was 20.7%, higher among females at 62.8%, compared to males; consumption in people over 41 years was 63.2%; self-medication in 72.8%; increased consumption with age; in middle and high socioeconomic brackets, consumption was 63%; the higher the education, the higher the consumption; 36.6% plan to continue consumption despite the surgical procedure.
Conclusions: The high rate of consumption of nutritional supplements in patients about to undergo surgery, possible drug interactions, and adverse effects of perioperative consumption of some herbs should trigger an alarm in the anesthesiologist performing the pre-anesthetic consultation; it is necessary to include this in the interview and act accordingly. We recommend always asking to see product packaging.
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