Anesthesia: Safe for people with asthma?

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Anesthesia: Safe for people with asthma?


Is it safe for people with asthma to have anesthesia?

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Children and adults with well-controlled asthma aren't at increased risk of complications from anesthesia, such as severe asthma attacks. But anesthesia does pose a risk for people with poorly controlled asthma.

If you have asthma and will be undergoing a procedure that requires anesthesia, talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. Breathing tests can determine if your asthma is well controlled. If needed, your doctor may recommend treatments to better control your asthma before surgery. Also, be sure to tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • Medications you take, including dietary and herbal supplements
  • Known drug allergies, including allergies to aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
  • Treatments that you've received with corticosteroid medications

Generally, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, you should take your usual asthma medications on the day of your surgery.

Last Updated: 01/31/2005
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