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ARE YOU SURE THAT YOUR PATIENT IS NOT CHEWING SUPARI (BETELNUT)

OP Kapoor

Ex. Hon. Physician, Jaslok Hospital and Bombay Hospital, Mumbai, Ex. Hon. Prof. of Medicine, Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai 400 008.

History of tobacco consumption has been stressed enough in the medical consultation. However, in our country a number of people specially women chew supari. It is important to note this down. If your patient happens to be a case of bronchial asthma or COPD, remember that:

1. Betelnut interacts with theophylin preparations and steroids. Thus your patient will not respond adequately to your drugs.

2. An angina patient if he keeps GTN tablet under the tongue when he has already a betelnut there, it may not work.

3. If you ever treat a case of sub-mucosal fibrosis which is causing trismus and glossitis, do not forget to ask about the history of betelnut consumption because the copper content of supari is so high that it can cause sub-mucosal fibrosis.


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