Medications and Supplements to Avoid Before and After Surgery

It is often instructed that no brand of aspirin, nor any aspirin-containing drugs, be ingested 14 days prior to and following a surgical procedure. It is also urged to inform your surgeon and anesthesiologist of EVERY medication or supplement you have ingested for the last few months. Including some anti-depressants as they can take as many as several weeks to fully purge themselves from the body. Even homeopathic supplements can endanger your life or increase some risks intra- and post-operatively so please disclose EVERY medication, essential oil, supplement, suspension, etc., your life and well-being may depend upon it.

Aspirin and aspirin containing products, as well as some supplements and nutraceuticals may inhibit blood clotting and cause difficulties during and after surgery. If you need an aspirin-free fever reducer and pain reliever, ask your surgeon if you may take Tylenol. Also, if you smoke, you shouldn't smoke at least 2to 3 weeks prior and at least 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery date. Smoking significantly reduces your body's superficial circulation and vascularity. This means difficulty in bringing much needed oxygen to your tissues for proper healing.

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click a letter for the products beginning with that letter


Aches-N-Pains, Actifed,Acuprin, Addaprin, Adprin - B Tablets, Adult Analgesic Pain Relievers, Advil,AK Spore - HC, Alka Seltzer,All Arthritis Medicines,Allergy Relief Medicines (A.R.M.),Alpha Omega (fish oil),Aluprin,Aleve, Amigesic Capsules, Amitriptyline, Anacin, Anacin

Arthritis/P, Ansaid Tablets (generic brand of Ansaid is Flurbiprofen), Anodynos Tablets, Analval, Anaprox, Anaprox-DS, Anaproxen, Anaproxen Anodynos, Ansaid, APAC Improved, APC, Argesic Tablets, Arthra-G, Arthralgen Tablets, Arthritis Pain Formula, Arthritis Strength Bufferin,Arthropan,Arthropan Liquid, As-caff, Ascodeen, Ascriptin,Ascriptin AID tablets, Ascriptin with Codeine Tablets, ALL ASCRIPTIN PRODUCTS, Aspir-lox, Asperi-mox, Aspirbuf,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, Bufferin 37%, Bufferin Arth, Bufferin X/S Butalbit,Buffets II, Buffex, Buffinol, Buropion, Buropion HCL, Butazolidin


C-Advil Cama, 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, Chro,mium, Chromium Picolinate, Claritin, Clinoril, Concerta (for ADD/ADHD), 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


Vitamin E, E-aspirin, Easprin EC, Echinacea, Ecolrin, Ecotrin Tablets, EFFEXORXR, Elavil, Emagrin, Empirin, Empirin with Codeine, Emprazil, Endodan Tablets, Epromate Tablets, Equagesic, Equazine-M, Excedrin, EFFEXORXR (venlafaxine HCl) Extended-Release, ExPrazi


Feldene, Fenoprofen Tablets, Feverfew, Fiogesic Tablets, Fioricett, Fiorinal, Fiorinal with Codeine, Florgen PF,Fluoxetin, Flurbiprofen Tablets, 4 Way Cold Tablets


garlic (allium sativum) tabs & do not eat garlic excessively (some say not at all - but if you accidentally get some or have a little garlic toast, I am sure it's okay, it's more for garlic tablets), Genaced, Genacote, Gelpirin Tablets, Genprin,Gensan, Ghemnisym, Gingko, Ginbko Biloba, Gennin, Ginger, Gingko, Ginkobiloba, GNP aspirin, Goody's Headache Powder, Goody-s Extra Strength


Halfprin Tablets, Haltran, Heparin,Hydroxycut


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


none available


Ketoprofen Capsules


Lanorinal, Licorice Root, Lodine, Lortab ASA


MAO inhibitors, 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, Nardil, Nardilzine, Naprosyn, Neomycin, Neogesic, Norgesic, Norgesic Forte, Norwich Extra Strength Aspirin, Nov-naproxen, Nuprin, NyQuil/NyQuil P.M.


Orphenagesic, Orphenagesic Forte, Orudis, Oruvail Capsules, Oxycodine, Oxycodone


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, Piroxicam Capsules, Polymyxin, Ponstel Capsules, Presalin, Propoxyphene Compound, Propoxyphene Napsylate with Aspirin, Prozac


Quagesic, Quiet World Analgesic (sleeping aid), Quinine


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. Joh'ns 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, Valtrex, Vanquish, Verin, Viro-Med Tablets, Vivarin, Voltaren


Warafin (Coumadin), Wellbutrin, Wesprin Buffered


none available




Zactrin, (Zoloft has anti-coagulant properties so just advise your anesthesiologist if you take it) Zorprin, Zyban

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, Vitamins and Herbal Remedies

Other Supplements, Vitamins and Herbal Remedies I know many patients may take herbal supplements and some may be beneficial but MANY are contraindicated with anesthesia or surgery in general. Some reasons why you may not wish to disclose your herbal consumption information to your surgeon or anesthesiologist may be because you believe that since these supplements are over the counter (OTC) they must be safe to use. This isn't true as many of these can severally hurt you when used in conjunction with anesthesia, other medications or while undergoing surgery. You may also think that because these products are natural that they are safe. Most medications and dangerous drugs and poisons ARE FROM PLANTS. You may also think that telling your surgeon or anesthesiologist would be embarrassing -- especially if you shouldn't be taking them, if you are taking them for weight loss, increase your sexual stamina, for acne or for depression -- so you may choose not to. This is your life, don't mess around!

  • Vitamin E is usually prohibited before and directly after surgery. Vit. E has anti-platelet properties and inhibits vital clot formation. Please cease consuming Vitamin E at least 2-3 weeks prior to any surgery and for 2-3 weeks afterwards unless specifically instructed by your surgeon.
  • (allium sativum) tablets, Ginger, Alfalfa, Cayenne, Papaya, Feverfew, Chamomile, Dong Quai root, Willow bark, Goldenseal, Guarana, Horse Chestnut 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. They are considered to be 3 times stronger than Vitamin E..

  • Ginseng may cause rapid heartbeat/and or high blood pressure in some individuals as well as coagulation disruption.
  • St. John's Wort, Yohimbe, ("The natural Viagra") and Licorice roothave a mild monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitory effect.(*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 may decrease the amount of anesthesia needed for surgery.
  • Kava Kava, Hawthorn, Lemon verbena, Muwort, Lavender 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. it also has some coagulation disruption properties.
  • 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).
  • Gotu Kola has a stimulant effect as well.
  • Ackee fruit as well as, Alfalfa, Aloe, Argimony, Barley, Bitter melon, Burdock root, Carrot oil, Chromium, Coriander, Dandelion root, Devil's club, Eucalyptus, Fenugreek seeds, Fo-ti, large amounts of natural Garlic, Ginseng, Grape seed, Guayusa, Gmena, Juniper, Nem seed oil, large amounts of Onions, Periwinkle, Yellow Root alter the blood glucose level.

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, EFFEXORXR, 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.