How Medications And Supplements Can Intensify Dental Sedation

If you are considering sedation dentistry for an upcoming dental procedure, talk to your dentist about how your medications or dietary supplements might interact with the sedation agent. Both prescription and non-prescription drugs as well as vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies can intensify the effects of, or interact negatively with, the sedation medication. Here are four drugs and supplements that may be contraindicated with your dental anesthesia:

Cold Medications

Both antihistamines, which are used to treat a runny nose, and decongestants, which help relieve stuffiness, can interact with sedation agents. Antihistamines promote drowsiness, so if taken before the administration of the agent, you may experience profound sleepiness after your dental procedure.

Decongestants can lead to heart palpitations and anxiety, which may cause the agent to lose some of its effectiveness. Talk to your dentist if you rely on antihistamines or decongestants for allergies or if you have a cold, as you may be advised to stop taking them the night before your procedure.

Cardiac Drugs

Cardiac drugs such as those used to treat an abnormal heart beat can lead to a condition known as bradycardia, which causes your heart to beat slower than normal. Similarly, sedation agents can lead to a slower than normal heart rate, and when the two medications are combined, your heart rate may fall to dangerous lows. Never stop taking your heart medications without talking to your physician; however, make sure you tell your oral surgeon about them prior to your procedure.

Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements might also interact with your dental anesthesia because side effects can include sleepiness and a slow heart rate. Not only can magnesium supplements intensify the sedation effects of the anesthetic, they can also cause your blood to thin, causing abnormal bleeding both during and after your oral surgery. While magnesium supplements are considered safe, your dentist may recommend that you stop taking them a week or so before your scheduled surgical procedure.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is a natural remedy that is often used in the treatment of anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia. It generally causes relaxation and calmness, but it is also known to induce sleepiness.  If you take a Valerian supplement before the administration of the sedation agent, you may feel exceptionally groggy and drowsy when you wake up. It may also take longer for the agent to clear your system if you have taken a Valerian root supplement prior to your dental procedure.

Sedation dentistry is well-tolerated by most patients; however, the above medications and supplements can lead to an increased risk of adverse reactions. Talk to your dentist about your medications and dietary supplements so that you'll know how they will affect you before, during and after your oral surgery.