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Preoperative Oral Passiflora Incarnata Reduces Anxiety in Ambulatory Surgery Patients: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

Movafegh, Ali MD*; Alizadeh, Reza MD; Hajimohamadi, Fatimah MD; Esfehani, Fatimah MD; Nejatfar, Mohmad MD

doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e318172c3f9
Ambulatory Anesthesiology: Research Report

BACKGROUND: Many patients have preoperative anxiety; therefore, the development of a strong anxiolytic with minimal psychomotor impairment for premedication may be desirable.

METHODS: In this study, 60 patients were randomized into two groups to receive either oral Passiflora incarnata (500 mg, Passipy™ IranDarouk) (n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) as premedication, 90 min before surgery. A numerical rating scale (NRS) was used for each patient to assess anxiety and sedation before, and 10, 30, 60, and 90 min after premedication. Psychomotor function was assessed with the Trieger Dot Test and the Digit-Symbol Substitution Test at arrival in the operating room, 30 and 90 min after tracheal extubation. The time interval between arrival in the postanesthesia care unit and discharge to home (discharge time) was recorded for each patient.

RESULTS: The demographic characteristics of patients, ASA physical status, duration of surgery, basal NRS score, sedation at the preset time intervals, and discharge time were similar in the two groups. The NRS anxiety scores were significantly lower in the passiflora group than in the control group (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in psychological variables in the postanesthesia care unit and recovery of psychomotor function was comparable in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In outpatient surgery, administration of oral Passiflora incarnata as a premedication reduces anxiety without inducing sedation.

IMPLICATIONS: This study demonstrates that in the outpatient population, oral premedication with Passiflora incarnata reduces preoperative anxiety.

From the *Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, †Research Development Center, Dr Ali Shariati Hospital, and ‡Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Amir Alam Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Accepted for publication February 11, 2008.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ali Movafegh, MD, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Dr Ali Shariati Hospital, North Karegar St., Tehran 1411713135, Iran. Address e-mail to

© 2008 International Anethesia Research Society