Medications and Supplements to Avoid Before Surgery

Do not ingest any brand of aspirin, or any aspirin-containing, MAO inhibiting and seratonin drugs, for 14 days prior to and after surgery. Disclose every medication, essential oil, supplement, suspension, etc. to your surgeon and anesthesiologist – your life depends 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, take Tylenol. Also, if you smoke, you should refrain for at least 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks after your surgery date. Smoking significantly reduces your body's circulation and vascularity, meaning your tissues won't receive all the oxygen needed for proper healing.

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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, EFFEXOR® XR, Elavil, Emagrin, Empirin, Empirin with Codeine, Emprazil, Endodan Tablets, Epromate Tablets, Equagesic, Equazine-M, Excedrin, EFFEXOR® XR (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

J 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, refrain from any 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.

Other Supplements and Herbal Remedies Not to Ingest Before Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery and Why...

I know many of you take herbal supplements, but many are contraindicated with anesthesia or surgery in general. Perhaps you don't want to disclose this information to your surgeon or anesthesiologist because you believe that these over-the-counter (OTC) supplements are safe to use. But many of them are contraindicated and can hurt you when used in conjunction with anesthesia and other medications or while undergoing surgery. You may also think that telling your surgeon or anesthesiologist would be embarrassing, especially if you are taking them for weight loss, to increase your sexual stamina, for acne or for depression. Just remember: this is your life, don't mess around!

  • Vitamin E is usually the number one no-no. It has anti-platelet properties and inhibits vital clot formation. Please stop taking vitamin E at least 2 to 3 weeks prior to any surgery and stay off it for 2 to 3 weeks afterwards unless specifically instructed by your surgeon.

  • Garlic (allium sativum), ginger, alfalfa, cayenne, papaya, feverfew, chamomile, dong quai root, willow bark, goldenseal, guarana, horse chestnut and bilberry tablets/supplements all have anti-platelet properties and may inhibit vital clot formation. These supplements are normally taken to remedy edema (fluid retention).

  • Gingko, gingko biloba and selenium are powerful anti-coagulants and should be avoided.

  • Ginseng may cause rapid heartbeat/and or high blood pressure in some individuals, as well as disrupt coagulation.

  • St. John's wort, yohimbe and licorice root have a mild monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitory effect and may intensify the effects of anesthesia. Some well-known and popular anti-depressants are MAO inhibitors, so disclose any and all medications you are taking to your surgeon and anesthesiologist.

  • Melatonin decreases 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. Tell your anesthesiologist/surgeon if you take any of these.

  • Echinacea may have a severe impact on the liver when general anesthesia is used. It also has some coagulation disruption properties.

  • Ma huang (aka Ephedra) is a major component of most weight loss supplements and has been associated with hundreds of adverse health effects, including death. It is an amphetamine-like compound with the potential for stimulating the central nervous system and heart. 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.

  • Gotu kola has a stimulant effect.

  • The following alter blood glucose levels: ackee fruit, alfalfa, aloe, argimony, barley, bitter melon, burdock root, carrot oil, chromium, coriander, dandelion root, devil's club, eucalyptus, fenugreek seeds, fo-ti, garlic, ginseng, grape seed, guayusa, gmena, juniper, nem seed oil, onions, periwinkle and yellow root.

Special Medication Alerts!

If you are on anti-depressants, please advise your doctor. Some monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (also known as MAOI) intensify the effects of the anesthesia, especially general anesthesia. This could be quite dangerous in the operating room if your doctor is unaware of your medication usage. If you advise your doctor, he or she can make adjustments for your anesthesia or at least will watch for the slightest decrease in heart or breathing rate.

These medications are used for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, essential hypertension, chronic pain syndromes and migraine headaches: Isocarboxazid, Marplan, phenelzine (Nardil, Nardelzine) tranylcypromine (Parnate, Sicoton), Deprenyl, selegiline hydrochloride, 5 HTP, Amitriptyline, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Buropion, Buropion HCL, Fluoxetin, EFFEXOR® XR, etc.

They work by inhibiting nerve transmissions in brain that may cause depression.

It is reported that drug interactions can occur even weeks after discontinued use of an MAOI. Therefore, in patients undergoing general anesthesia, usage is normally banned for several weeks prior to surgery to avoid possible cardiovascular effects. However, it may be more important and more risky to cease the MAOI than to keep taking it. Discuss this with your surgeon and/or anesthesiologist.

Diet Pills, Fat Loss Supplements and Stackers: Please stop taking these pills at least 2 weeks before surgery. Many of these pills contain anticoagulants and can seriously impede your body's ability to clot sufficiently, resulting in hemorrhaging. Many of them also contain ephedra and caffeine.