What you can do about anxiety before surgery
5. Sedatives and other anti-anxiety medicines
Your doctor can prescribe a medicine to help you sleep the night before an operation. It is important for the hospital to know what you are taking, so it is best if you organise this with the same doctor caring for you with the operation. If you are already in hospital the night before, a medicine to help you sleep will usually be offered, although it is not always suitable for everyone. This medicine might be out of the group of sedative drugs called benzodiazepines . They reduce anxiety and help you unwind, and they make you sleepy at the same time.
"If I hadn't had a sedative then I would have been up all night with my head full of thoughts."
Sedatives might also be an option in the last hour or two before going under anaesthetic. The different possible medicines have not been tested enough to be sure which type is the best before surgery.
People having day surgery are not always offered anti-anxiety medicine. One of the reasons some clinics do not do this is because of concern that it might mean that patients will not be ready to go home on their own that day as planned if they are affected by sedatives. However this fear may not be justified with lower doses. After analysing 15 trials with more than 1,300 patients having day surgery, researchers were able to come to the conclusion that anti-anxiety medication does not increase the time it takes to recover after day surgery .
It is possible that other types of medicines than benzodiazepines might be suitable for anxiety before surgery. They might be used in some hospitals. On the list of candidates are the so-called beta-blockers. Although there is not yet enough evidence to be certain, researchers found some suggestion that these drugs might mean that people are less anxious but more alert than if they take higher doses of some benzodiazepines .
- October 30th 2009 06:54
- February 14th 2006 10:00
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Besucher, die diese Seite besuchten, haben auch folgende Seiten aufgerufen:
- People who are not anxious are the exception
- Coping with anxiety before surgery
- What can patients do for themselves?
- What can the hospital do?
- Sedatives and other anti-anxiety medicines
- What can parents do when their child is having an operation?
- Older people