Medications & Supplements To Avoid Before & After Surgery

It is suggested that you do not ingest any brand of aspirin, or any of the following aspirin containing, stimulants and some MAO inhibiting and seratonin drugs for 14 days prior to surgery and 14 days after surgery.  Aspirin and aspirin containing products may inhibit blood clotting and cause difficulties during and after surgery.  If you need an aspirin-free fever reducer and pain reliever, many physicians recommend Tylenol.  Also, if you smoke, you shouldn't smoke at least 2 weeks prior and at least 2 weeks after your surgery date.  This includes the Patch, chewing tobacco and nicotine gum as nicotine significantly reduces your body's vascularity and also impedes your ability to heal.  This means difficulty in bringing much needed oxygen to your tissues for proper healing.

Some surgeons and anesthesiologists may make exceptions for any of the below medications just be sure to disclose EVERY medication to your surgeon/anesthesiologist, and do not go against his or her instructions if you are told to cease taking said any medication.

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Advil, Alka Seltzer, All Arthritis Medicines, Allergy Relief Medicines (A.R.M.), Alpha Omega (fish oil), Aluprin, Aleve, Amigesic Capsules, Anacin, Ansaid Tablets, Anodynos Tablets, Aspirin Suppositories, Analval, Anaprox, Anaprox-DS, Anaproxn, Anaproxen Anodynos, Ansaid, APAC Improved, APC, Argesic Tablets, Arthra-G, Arthralgen Tablets, Arthritis Pain Formula, Arthritis Strength Bufferin, Arthropan, Arthropan Liquid, Ascodeen, Ascriptin, Ascriptin AID tablets, Ascriptin with Codeine Tablets, ALL ASCRIPTIN PRODUCTS, Asperbuf, Aspercin,  Aspergum, Aspirin (of any kind), Aspirin Suppositories,  Aspirin with Codeine, ASpirTab, Asprimox Tablets, Asproject, A.S.A. Tablets, A.S.A. Enseals, Axotal, Azdone Tablets 

B-A-C Tablets, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Children's Aspirin Tablets, Bayer Children's Cold Tablets, Bayer Timed-Release Aspirin Tablets, Bayer Select Pain Formula, BC Powder/Tablets, Bilberry Tablets, Brufen, Buf Tab, Buff-A-Comp, Buff-A Comp No.3 Tablets with codeine, Buffaprin,  Buffasal, Bufferin, Butalbit, Buffets II, Buffex, Buffinol, Butazolidin 

C-Advil Cama Arthritis Pain Reliever, Cama Inlay Tabs, CataFlam Tablets, Carisoprodol Compoud Tablets, Cayenne, Cephalgesic, Cheracol Tablets, Children's Advil Suspension, Children's Aspirin, Children's Motrin Suspension, Clinoril, Congespirin, Contac, Cope, Coricidin Tablets, Coricidin "D" Decongestant Tablets, Coricidin, Coricidin Demilets Tablets for Children, Coricidin Mediets Tablets for Children, Coumadin 

Damason-P, Darvon, Darvon with ASA, Darvon Compound,  Darvon Compound-65, Darvon w/Apspirin, Darvon-N with Apsirin, Dasin, Dipryridamole, Disalcid, Diurex, Doan's, Dolcn, Dolobid, Dolphirn #3 Tablets, Drinopehn, Dristan, Dristan Sinus, Duoprin-S Syrup, Duradyne Tablets

Easprin, Echinacea, Ecolrin, Ecotrin Tablets, Emagrin, Empirin, Empirin with Codeine, Emprazil, Endodan Tablets, Epromate Tablets, Equagesic, Equazine-M, Excedrin, ExPrazi

Feldene, Fenoprofen Tablets, Fiogesic Tablets, Fiorinal, Fiorinal with Codeine, Florgen PF, Fluriprofen Tablets, 4 Way Cold Tablets

garlic supplements (also, do not eat garlic, excessively), Gelpirin Tablets, Genprin, Gensan, Ghemnisym, Ginger, Gingko, Ginkobiloba, Goody's Headache Powder, Goody's Extra Strength 

Haltran, Heparin, Halfprin Tablets

IBU, IBU-Tab, Ibuprofen, Ibuprin, Ibuprohm, Indocin, Indochron E-R Capsules , Indomethacin Caspules Indomethacin Suspension, Infantol Pill, Isollyl Improved Tablets & Capsules

J none available

Ketoprofen Capsules         

Lanorinal, Licorice Root, Lodine, Lortab ASA      

Magan, Magnaprin, Magnasprin, Magsal, Marnal, Marthritic Tablets, Maximum Bayer Aspirin, Measurin, Meclomen, MecloFenamate Capsules, Medigistic-Plus, Medipren, Meditren, Melatonin, Menadol, Meprogesic Q, Micraninin, Midol/Midol 200, Midol Original, Midol PMS, Mobidin, Moblgesic, Momentum Back Ache Formula, Monogesic, Motrin, Motrin IB, Multi-Vitamin   

Nalfon, Naprosyn, Neogesic, Norgesic, Norgesic Forte, Norwich Extra Strength Aspirin, Nuprin, NyQuil/NyQuil P.M.     

Orphenagesic, Orphenagesic Forte, Orudis, Oruvail Capsules, Oxycodine & Aspirin             

P-A-C, Pabalate-SF, Pabrin, Pacaps, Pain Reliever Tablets, Pamprin-IB, Panalgesic, Panodynes, Papaya, PediaProfen, Pedrazil, Percodan, Percodan Demi Tabs, Persantin, Persisrin, Persistin, PetoBismol, Phenaphen, Phenetron Compound, Presalin, Propoxyphene Compound. Propoxyphene Napsylate with Aspirin, Piroxicam Capsules, Ponstel Capsules

Quagesic, Quiet World Analgesic (sleeping aid)

Relafen Tablets, Rexolate, Rhinex, Robaxin, Robasisal, Roxiprin Tablets, Rufin, Robaxisal     

S-A-C, Salabuff, Salatin. Saleto, Saleto 200, Saleto-400,600,800 Tablets, Salflex, Salicylamide, Salocol, Salsalate, Salsitab, Serzone, Sign Off Sinus Tablets, Sine Aid, Sine Off, SK-65 Compound Capsules, Soma Compound, Soma Compound with Codeine, St. Johns Wort, St. Josephs Aspirin, St. Joseph Cold Tablets (for children), Stanback Analgesic, Stanback Powder, Sudafed, Sulindac Tablets, Supac, Synalogos Capsules, Synalgos-DC Capsules

Talwin Compound, Tenol-Plus, Tolectin 200,600 Tablets, Tolectin DS Capsules, Tolmetin Tablets/Capsules, Toradol Injection/Tablets, Tr-Pain Tablets, Trilisate Tablets and Liquid, Trendar, Trental, Triaminicin Tablets, Tricosal tablets, Tri-Pain, Trigesic, Trilisate, Tusal 

Ultrapin, Unipro, Ursinos Inlay Tablets 

Valesin, Vanquish, Verin, Viro-Med Tablets, Vitamin E, Voltaren

Warafin (Coumadin), Wesprin Buffered 

X none available


Zactrin, Zorprin 

Plus any other aspirin containing medication, be it natural, prescription or over the counter. Alert your doctor of any medications or supplements you may be taking. Even natural supplements have their risks. Read below...

    Other Supplements and Herbal Remedies
    NOT to ingest and why...

  • Garlic, Ginger, Cayenne, Papaya and Bilberry Tablets/Supplements, have anti-platelet properties and may inhibit vital clot formation. These medications are normally taken to remedy edema (fluid retention).
  • Gingko, Gingko biloba, & Selenium are powerful anti-coagulants. It is considered to be 3 times stronger than Vitamin E, which should also be avoided.
  • Ginseng may cause rapid heartbeat/and or high blood pressure in some individuals.
  • St. John's Wort, Yohimbe, ("The natural Viagra") and Licorice root  have a mild monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitory effect and may intensify the effects of anesthesia. (*note some well known and popular anti-depressants are MAO inhibitors, disclose any and all medications you are taking - your life may depend on it!)
  • Melatonin decreases the amount of anesthesia needed for surgery.
  • Kava Kava and Valerian/Valerian Root: (taken to promote relaxation and sleep) have tranquilizing properties and should not be combined with other sedative agents. WARNING! Tell your anesthesiologist/surgeon if you take either one of these!
  • Echinacea may have a severe impact on the liver when general anesthesia is used. Please advise your surgeon of all medications and supplements and alert him to the possible effects of herbal supplements and remedies, he may not be aware of the contraindications.
  • Ma Huang (aka Ephedra): "(used by many for weight loss and is a major component of most weight loss supplements) has been associated with more than 800 adverse health effects including DEATH. It is an amphetamine-like compound with the potential for stimulating the central nervous system and heart. 
    WARNING! we strongly discourage the use of this supplement in any form." In large doses ephedrine causes nervousness, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, palpitations, skin flushing, tingling and vomiting (Lawrence Review, 1989). The Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs notes that "The principal adverse effects of ephedrine are CNS stimulation, nausea, tremors, tachycardia [rapid heartbeat], and urinary retention." (APhA 1986).

Special Medication Alerts!

If you are on anti-depressants, please advise your doctor.  Some monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (also known as MAOI) may cause severe problems when anesthesia is administered - especially with General.  Effects such as very low blood pressure may occur during surgery.  This could be quite dangerous in the operating room if your doctor is unaware of your medication usage.  If you advise your doctor/anesthesiologist he or she can make adjustments for your anesthesia or at least will watch for the slightest decrease in heart, blood pressure or breathing rate.

  • MAOI medications may include: Isocarboxazid, Marplan, phenelzine (Nardil, Nardelzine) tranylcypromine (Parnate, Sicoton), Deprenyl, selegiline hydrochloride, 5 HTP, Amitriptyline, Prozac,  Wellbutrin, Buropion, Buropion HCL, Fluoxetin, EFFEXOR XR, etc.. They are used for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, essential hypertension (pargyline), chronic pain syndromes, and migraine headaches.  They work by inhibiting nerve transmissions in brain that may cause depression. Tranylcypromine and phenelzine account for over 90% of all MAO inhibitors currently prescribed. It is reported that drug interactions can occur even weeks after discontinued use of an MAOI.  Therefore, in patients undergoing General anesthesia, cessation of usage is normally instructed several weeks prior to surgery to avoid possible cardiovascular effects.  However, as said before adjustments can be made.

  • Diet Pills, Fat Loss Supplements & Stackers: Please, Please, Please! stop taking these pills at least 2 to 3 weeks before surgery.  Many of these pills contain anticoagulants and can seriously impede your bodies ability to clot sufficiently resulting in hemorrhaging.

"Anesthetic Requirements: Anesthetic requirements are increased, reflecting accumulation of norepinephrine in the CNS." Ref: Stoelting, R.K, Pharmacology & Physiology in Anesthetic Practice, pp. 378-381.


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