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Moxibustion: respiratory complications
  1. Beatrice Umeh
  1. Senior lecturer, Department of Anaesthesiology, King Fahd University Hospital, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia



    Inhalation of fumes from smouldering moxa stick during moxibustion has been found to provoke tightness in the chest, dyspnoea and increased production of phlegm in persons prone to asthmatic and bronchitic attacks.

    Ingestion of the antihistamine, Tavegyl Sandoz (clemastine), prior to exposure to moxa stick fumes attenuates the severity of these chest complications.

    Free airflow, away from patients and attendants should be ensured during moxibustion. Wherever possible, an alternative heat source such as a lighter, should be used for acubustion. The use of a suitable antihistamine for prophylaxis is recommended whenever moxibustion must be applied lo individuals or by acupuncturists with allergic tendencies.

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