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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 965045, 4 pages
Research Article

The Effect of the Kampo Medicine Yokukansan on Preoperative Anxiety and Sedation Levels

1Department of Surgery, Toki General Hospital, Gifu 509-5193, Japan
2Multidisciplinary Pain Centre, School of Medicine, Aichi Medical University, 21 Karimata, Nagakutecho, Aichigun, Aichi 480-1195, Japan

Received 2 January 2014; Accepted 3 March 2014; Published 31 March 2014

Academic Editor: Kenji Watanabe

Copyright © 2014 Young-Chang Arai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Preoperative anxiety can lead to unfavorable physiological response such as tachycardia and hypertension. Prevention of preoperative anxiety improves surgical outcome and decreases inpatient stay. Yokukansan is one of prescriptions in Kampo, traditional Japanese herbal medicine, and is known to exert anxiolytic effects. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of diazepam and Yokukansan on preoperative anxiety, salivary amylase activity, and sedation levels. Methods. Seventy American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I or II patients presenting for hemicolectomy under general anesthesia combined with epidural anesthesia were enrolled. The Diazepam group received diazepam 5 mg orally and the Yokukansan group received Yokukansan 2.5 g orally. Results. Although levels of anxiety and salivary amylase activity were not different between the two groups, the modified Observer’s Assessment of Alertness/Sedation Scale of the Yokukansan group was significantly higher compared to that of the Diazepam group. Conclusion. Yokukansan alleviated preoperative anxiety without undesirable sedation, when compared with diazepam.