Medications to Avoid After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Share This Article

Weight loss surgery is a serious procedure, changing many things about your body to help you look better and feel better. The changes you can see are largely physical, but bariatric surgery also changes how your body functions, including how it handles prescriptions and other pills. This means there are some medications to avoid after gastric sleeve surgery.

Gastric sleeve or bypass procedures lead to substantial weight loss when combined with diet and exercise. But in addition to the obvious changes, your body’s physiology changes as well, especially in regard to the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and medicines. Understanding the use of medications after bariatric surgery will be important.

Medications will work differently within the body after surgery and improper use could lead to further health problems. In general, part of the stomach is removed during bariatric surgery or reduces the stomach’s ability to hold food. This decreases appetite and reduces the ability to consume unhealthy foods. This change doesn’t stop with food, however.

How Medications Interact With the Body After Bariatric Surgery

Absorption on the whole changes within the body. Post-surgery, many patients may experience issues absorbing medication in a normal way, leading to potential problems when improper drugs are consumed orally. Decreased intestinal lengths can reduce overall absorption time, especially in extended-release medications. When prescribed incorrectly, medications after bariatric surgery can increase the risk of overdose or stomach ulcers.

The various forms of weight loss surgery affect the absorption of medications differently. Patients who choose gastric sleeve or gastric band surgeries are more likely to be able to take medications as normal. Patients who opt for a gastric bypass, distal bypass, or duodenal switch procedure may experience complications.

Medications to Avoid After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

While specific circumstances will vary from patient to patient, most doctors issue blanket warnings for those who have undergone bypass procedures. In general, patients are warned against oral doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, salicylates (aspirin is the most common), and bone density medications.

In lieu of these common medications, your doctor may provide topical alternatives that are not affected by the stomach’s changed state. All sustained and extended-release drugs should also be avoided–these medications are designed for a standard stomach. Some medications, like cholesterol drugs and antidepressants, can still be prescribed normally but should be taken under proper supervision after bariatric surgery.

  • Common Medications to Avoid After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
  • Alka Seltzer products may cause excessive bleeding
  • Aspirin (including baby aspirin and enteric-coated aspirin) also increases the risk of excessive bleeding
  • Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can hinder blood clots and the clotting process in general
  • Ibuprofen products like Advil or Motrin can interfere with the healing process
  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone can affect the stomach lining, causing ulcers

In many cases, liquid medications are recommended because they are absorbed into the body much easier than aspirin products that are coated. Tablet medications should be crushed or broken up during the first three months after surgery, too, to make it easier for the body to handle.

Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are also affected by the changes in the body. That’s why it’s so important to follow the pre and post-surgery recommendations for protein, iron, and other important supplements. You want to make sure your body isn’t lacking in these nutrients before the surgery because it will be that much harder to achieve normal levels after surgery.

Consult With Your Physician Before Taking Any Medications

Prior to taking any drugs, regardless of the reason, be sure to speak with your physician. This includes over-the-counter pain relievers, sleep aids, allergy medications, and fever suppressors. Unless you have been cleared to continue with normal dosages, do not take drugs of any kind.

Your doctor will be able to provide information regarding the use of antibiotics and medications after bariatric surgery. Your body will be going through some pretty massive changes, and we want to make sure it’s still getting everything it needs during those first few months of healing.

For more information on medications after bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery options, and the comprehensive weight loss program at Olde Del Mar Surgical, call us and we will be happy to help you.

Share This Article