List of Drugs not to take before Surgery
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This information will help you identify medications that contain aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It’s important to stop these medications before many cancer treatments.
Aspirin, other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), and vitamin E can increase your risk of bleeding during cancer treatment. These medications affect your platelets, which are blood cells that clot to prevent bleeding.
Read the section “Examples of Medications” to see if your medications contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E.
If you take aspirin, medications that contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E, tell your doctor or nurse. They will tell you if you need to stop taking these medications before your treatment. You will also find instructions in the information about the treatment you’re having.
Before Your Surgery
If you’re having surgery, follow the instructions below.
- Stop taking medications that contain vitamin E 10 days before your surgery, or as directed by your doctor.
- Stop taking medications that contain aspirin 7 days before your surgery, or as directed by your doctor. If you take aspirin because you’ve had a problem with your heart or you’ve had a stroke, be sure to talk with your doctor before you stop taking it.
- Stop taking NSAIDs 48 hours before your surgery, or as directed by your doctor.
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Before Your Radiology Procedure
If you’re having a radiology procedure (including Interventional Radiology, Interventional Mammography, and General Radiology), follow the instructions below.
- Stop taking medications that contain vitamin E 10 days before your procedure, or as directed by your doctor.
- If your doctor tells you to stop taking aspirin, stop taking it 5 days before your procedure, or as directed by your doctor. If you take aspirin because you’ve had a problem with your heart or you’ve had a stroke, be sure to talk with your doctor before you stop taking it.
- Stop taking NSAIDs 24 hours before your procedure, or as directed by your doctor.
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Before and During Your Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy can lower your platelet count, which can increase your risk of bleeding. Whether you’re just starting chemotherapy or you’ve been getting it, talk with your doctor or nurse before taking aspirin or NSAIDs.
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Examples of Medications
Medications are often called by their brand name, which can make it hard to know their ingredients. To help you identify medications that contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, and vitamin E, please review the lists below.
These lists include the most common products, but there are others. Check with your healthcare provider if you aren’t sure. Always be sure your doctor knows all of the medications you’re taking, both prescription and over-the-counter (not prescription).
Common Medications that Contain Aspirin
|Aggrenox®||Bufferin® (most formulations)||Fiorgen®||Momentum®||Soma® Compound Tablets|
|Alka Seltzer®||Buffets II®||Fiorinal® (most formulations)||Norgesic Forte® (most formulations)||Soma® Compound with Codeine Tablets|
|Anacin®||Buffex®||Fiortal®||Norwich® Aspirin||St. Joseph® Adult Chewable Aspirin|
|Arthritis Pain Formula||Cama® Arthritis Pain Reliever||Gelpirin®||PAC® Analgesic Tablets||Supac®|
|Arthritis Foundation Pain Reliever®||COPE®||Genprin®||Orphengesic®||Synalgos®-DC Capsules|
|Ascriptin® and Ascriptin A/D®||Ecotrin® (most formulations)||Headrin®||Percodan® Tablets||Talwin® Compound|
|Aspergum®||Empirin® Aspirin (most formulations)||Isollyl®||Persistin®||Vanquish® Analgesic Caplets|
|Asprimox®||Epromate®||Lanorinal®||Robaxisal® Tablets||Wesprin® Buffered|
|Axotal®||Equagesic Tablets||Lortab® ASA Tablets||Roxiprin®||Zee-Seltzer®|
|Bayer® (most formulations)||Excedrin® Extra-Strength Analgesic Tablets and Caplets||Marnal®||Salocol®|
|BC® Powder and Cold formulations||Excedrin® Migraine||Micrainin®||Sodol®|
Common Medications that are NSAIDs that Don’t Contain Aspirin
|Bayer® Select Pain Relief Formula Caplets||Flurbiprofen||Meloxicam||Orudis®|
Products that Contain Vitamin E
|Amino-Opt-E||Aquavit||E-400 IU||E complex-600|
|Aquasol E||D’alpha E||E-1000 IU Softgels||Vita-Plus E|
Most multivitamins contain vitamin E. If you take a multivitamin, be sure to check the label.
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Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is generally safe to take during your cancer treatment. It doesn’t affect platelets, so it won’t increase your chance of bleeding. However, talk with your doctor before taking acetaminophen if you’re getting chemotherapy.
Medications that Contain Acetaminophen
|Aceta® with Codeine||Esgic®||Panadol®||Tylenol® with Codeine No. 3|
|Acetaminophen with Codeine||Excedrin P.M.®||Percocet®||Vanquish®|
|Arthritis Pain Formula® Aspirin-Free||Lorcet®||Roxicet®||Wygesic®|
Read the labels on all your medications
Acetaminophen is safe when used as directed, but there’s a limit to how much you can take in 1 day. It’s possible to take too much acetaminophen without knowing because it’s in many different medications.
Make sure to always read and follow the label on the product you’re taking. Acetaminophen is a very common ingredient found in over-the-counter and prescription medications. It’s often an ingredient in pain relievers, fever reducers, sleep aids, and cough, cold, and allergy medications.
The full name acetaminophen isn’t always written out. Look for the common abbreviations listed below, especially on prescription pain relievers.
|Common Abbreviations for Acetaminophen|
Don’t take more than 1 medication that contains acetaminophen at a time without talking with a member of your healthcare team.
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©2018 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – Generated on December 4, 2018
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- Before Your Surgery
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- Before and During Your Chemotherapy
- Examples of Medications
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- Safety + Dosing
- Health Conditions
- Dosage for Adults
Is TYLENOL® safe?
What is the active ingredient in TYLENOL®?
How does TYLENOL® work?
What is the definition of a fever?
What is acetaminophen?
What is Dextromethorphan HBR?
How does phenylephrine work?
What is guaifenesin?
Does TYLENOL® contain aspirin?
Does TYLENOL® contain caffeine?
Should I take TYLENOL® with or without food?
What is the difference between TYLENOL® Cold & Flu Severe products and TYLENOL® Cold Multi-Symptom products?
How are caplets, gelcaps, and geltabs different?
How is TYLENOL® different from other brands of pain reliever?
Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables FAQ
Why are you making this change?
Do I have to throw out the Children’s TYLENOL® or Store Brand 80 mg that I have in my medicine tablet?
How do I dispose of expired product?
Is it still safe to use the 80 mg acetaminophen products?
What is the dosing for Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables product?
How do I store a ½ tablet?
Will I pay more for the 160 mg Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables?
There is a difference between what my Doctor’s office told me to dose and what the dosing directions on the box direct me to do. What should I follow?
Is there a difference between the Children’s TYLENOL® Liquid and Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables?
Should my child take the Liquid or Chewables product?
How easy is it to break the product to give my child the appropriate dose?
How should I split tablets in half?
I want to buy the Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables. What retailers are selling the 160 mg Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables?
My child does not need 160 mg. Where can I buy the 80 mg?
I have been giving my child the 80 mg Chewable. Do I need to give him / her the 160 mg Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables?
I have been giving my child the Children’s TYLENOL® Liquid. Do I need to give him/her the Chewables?
How do I identify the Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables?
I have the old Children’s TYLENOL® Chewables 80 mg or 160 mg. Can I still use that?
I do not have enough of the 80 mg acetaminophen chewables to dose my child. How do I dose my child with the 80 mg and 160 mg to give them the right dose?
TYLENOL® Extra Strength Coated Tabs FAQ
a. What is the difference between TYLENOL® Extra Strength Caplets and TYLENOL® Extra Strength Coated Tablets?
b. What are opioids? Are all over-the-counter(OTC) TYLENOL® products “Opioid-Free,” or just TYLENOL® Extra Strength Coated Tablets?
Safety + Dosing
Can I use expired products?
Can I take a daytime product during the day and a nighttime product when I go to bed?
Can I use a decongestant nasal spray while taking TYLENOL® Cold products?
If I wake up in the middle of the night, can I take one more dose of nighttime cold products?
Can TYLENOL® Cold or TYLENOL® Sinus products make me drowsy?
Can I drink alcohol and take TYLENOL®?
Why can’t I use TYLENOL® for more than 10 days?
Does TYLENOL® cause liver damage?
Can I take TYLENOL® with my other medications?
Can TYLENOL® Cold or TYLENOL® Sinus products be taken with herbal supplements?
What can I do to soothe my cold while taking TYLENOL® Cold products?
Can I take TYLENOL® in between my doses of other pain relievers?
Can TYLENOL® Cold and TYLENOL® Sinus caplets be crushed or broken?
Can my child take TYLENOL® Cold and/or TYLENOL® Sinus products?
Symptoms + Conditions
What types of pain and ailments can I use TYLENOL® for?
Does TYLENOL® help inflammation (swelling)?
Will TYLENOL® help my migraine headaches?
How do I know if I have a sinus headache, a cold, or the flu?
Can I take TYLENOL® with my existing medical condition?
Can I take TYLENOL® if I have liver disease?
Pregnancy + Children
Can I take TYLENOL® if I am pregnant or nursing?
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