Purpose: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an herbal drug (valerian) to control anxiety during mandibular third molar extraction compared with a reference benzodiazepine drug commonly used in dental procedures (midazolam).
Materials and Methods: Twenty anxious patients with an indication for bilateral extraction of mandibular third molars were selected. The patients received capsules containing valerian 100 mg or midazolam 15 mg orally 60 minutes before the procedures in a randomized, split-mouth, crossover design. Changes in the physiological parameters (eg, oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate) were assessed at specific times during surgery, and the patients completed a questionnaire postoperatively. The data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon and paired t tests, with a significance level of 5%.
Results: No statistically significant differences in oxygen saturation were observed, regardless of the drug used. However, the other physiological parameters were significantly lower when the patients had taken midazolam compared with valerian. Somnolence was the most common side effect reported with both drugs.
Conclusions: Although midazolam was more effective in reducing the physiological parameters studied, valerian seemed to provide the comfort and relaxation required, with no sedation and less somnolence than midazolam, during third molar extraction. Further studies are necessary before valerian can be clinically recommended.