Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine >> Patient Care >> Anesthesiology >> HMC >> Medications Before Surgery

Anesthesiology Patient Care at HMC:
Medications to Avoid Before Surgery

When your doctor tells you to avoid certain medicines or supplements before surgery, to prevent bleeding problems

Preparing for Surgery

To prepare for your surgery or procedure, your doctor has asked you to avoid certain medicines, including aspirin and aspirin-like products, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, and other medicines or supplements.

This page lists medicines and supplements (by generic and trade names) that you should avoid to prevent bleeding problems.

You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) as needed for minor aches and pains.

  • Please make sure to review with your doctor all medicines
    and supplements that you are taking.

The lists in this handout are not complete. Other products or supplements may also cause bleeding problems.

Important note for patients who have had cardiac stents or other heart surgery in the past year:

Talk with your cardiologist (heart doctor) before you stop taking any aspirin product or clopidogrel (Plavix).

Avoid these Products in the Days Before
and After Surgery as Indicated by Your Doctor

Prescription products with aspirin or other salicylates:

  • Amigesic
  • Ascomp with codeine
  • Alor
  • Carisoprodol Compound
  • Darvon Compound 65
  • diflunisal
  • Dolobid
  • Empirin with codeine
  • Fiornal
  • Lobac
  • Lortab ASA
  • Magan
  • Magsal
  • Mobidin
  • Monogesic
  • Norgesic
  • Novasal
  • Orphengesic
  • Panasol
  • Percodan products
  • Roxiprin
  • Salflex
  • salsalate products
  • Salsitab
  • Soma products
  • Synalgos-DC
  • Talwin Compound
  • Trilisate
  • trisalicylate products
  • Zorprin

Prescription products with these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (brand name in parentheses):

  • diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam)
  • meclofenamate (Meclomen)
  • etodolac (Lodine)
  • mefenamic acid (Ponstel)
  • fenoprofen (Nalfon)
  • nabumetone (Relafen)
  • flurbiprofen (Ansaid)
  • naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox)
  • ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • oxaprozin (Daypro)
  • indomethacin (Indocin)
  • piroxicam (Feldene)
  • ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail)
  • sulindac (Clinoril)
  • ketorolac (Toradol)
  • tolmetin (Tolectin)

Other prescription drugs:

  • celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • cilastozol (Pletal)
  • clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • dipyridamole (Persantine)
  • dipyridamole/aspirin (Aggrenox)
  • valdecoxib (Bextra)
  • ticlopidine (Ticlid)

Nonprescription products with aspirin or salicylates:

  • Alka-Seltzer products
  • Anacin
  • Arthropan
  • Ascriptin
  • Aspergum
  • Asprimox
  • Bayer products
  • Bufferin
  • Doans
  • Ecotrin
  • Empirin
  • Excedrin products
  • Halfprin
  • Mobigesic
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Saleto
  • Vanquish

Nonprescription products with aspirin or salicylates:

  • Advil products
  • Aleve products
  • Dristan Sinus
  • Haltran
  • ibuprofen products
  • Menadol
  • Midol Extra Strength
  • Motrin
  • naproxen

Coumadin (Warfarin)

  • How many days BEFORE your surgery to stop taking this drug.
  • If you need bridge (short-term) therapy with an injectable anticoagulant (blood-thinner) such as heparin, or a low molecular weight heparin such as enoxaparin (Lovenox).

Herbal Products and Other Natural Supplements

Stop taking ALL natural products, herbal medicines, vitamins, and other supplements 7 days before your surgery. They may be resumed when your doctor says it is OK.

On the next page are herbs and other supplements that are especially harmful to take if you are having surgery because they can cause extra bleeding.

Natural supplements and herbs that may cause bleeding problems:

  • agrimony
  • alfalfa
  • aniseed
  • arnica
  • artemesia
  • asa foetica
  • bishop's weed
  • bladderwrack
  • bochu
  • bogbean
  • boldo
  • bromelains
  • burdock
  • capsicum
  • cassio
  • celery seed
  • chamomile
  • Chinese wolfberry
  • chondroitin
  • clove
  • cod liver oil
  • coltsfoot
  • dandelion
  • danshen (salvia)
  • devil's claw
  • dihydroepiandrosteroe (DHEA)
  • dong quai (angelica)
  • fenugreek
  • feverfew
  • fish oil
  • flax seed
  • gamma linoleic acid
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • ginkgo
  • ginseng
  • glucosamine
  • horse chestnut
  • horseradish
  • licorice
  • meadowsweet
  • melatonin
  • melilot
  • nattokinase
  • onion
  • pantethine
  • papain (papaya extract)
  • parsley
  • passionflower
  • policosanol
  • poplar
  • prickly ash
  • quassia
  • red clover
  • resveratrol
  • sea buckthorn
  • sweet clover
  • sweet woodruff
  • tonka beans
  • turmeric
  • vinpocetine
  • vitamin E
  • wild carrot
  • wild lettuce
  • willow bark

Questions?

Your questions are important. Call your doctor or health care provider if you have questions or concerns.

UWMC and SCCA clinic staff are also available to help.

UWMC Outpatient Pharmacy: 206-598-4363
SCCA Pharmacy: 206-288-6500