Below is a list that I give patients, but it's by no means complete; let your surgeon and your anesthesiologist know everything that you take well before you're being wheeled into the operating room because many of these supplements stay in your bloodstream for several days.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), fish oils, garlic, onion, and Vitamin E. These supplements can affect blood clotting after surgery.
- Feverfew, ginkgo biloba, Coenzyme Q10, ginger, and ginseng can interact with Warfarin, a common blood-thinning drug, and possibly cause bleeding.
- Hawthorn berry, kyushin, licorice, plantain, uzara root and ginseng can interact with Digoxin, a heart drug many patients receive during and after surgery, and the interaction could be fatal.
- St. John's wort can interact dangerously with a number of drugs, including Digoxin, Warfarin, oral contraceptives, Cyclosporin, and antiviral drugs.
- Iron can reduce the bioavailability of other drugs.
- Caffeine can affect your blood pressure, and caffeine withdrawal after surgery causes headaches (ask for a cup in the recovery room if you're a java junkie).
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment