Skip to main content
Home > Health Conditions and Treatments > Health library > Patient education manuals > Total knee replacement > Preparing for surgery > Medicine you should stop taking before knee replacement surgery

Medicine you should stop taking before knee replacement surgery

  • Blood thinner medicines

    If you are taking some kind of blood thinner medicine, call your doctor to find out if or when your medicine should be stopped before surgery.

    Examples of medicines that can thin your blood are:

    • aspirin
    • warfarin (Coumadin®)
    • Plavix®
    • heparin
    • ovenox®
    • Arixtra™

    Herbal medicines

    Herbal or natural medicines can cause side effects or interfere with other medicines. You should check with your doctor to see if any herbal medicines you are taking need to be stopped before surgery.

    There are 13 commonly used herbals that have some known side effects that may occur when taken with other medicines. Check with your doctor if you are taking:

    • St. John's wort
    • echinacea
    • ginkgo (ginkgo biloba)
    • ephedra (ma-huang)
    • ginseng
    • licorice
    • garlic
    • valerian
    • ginger
    • feverfew
    • saw palmetto
    • goldenseal
    • kava-kava

    Pain medicines

    You should stop taking the following types of pain medicine (non-steriodal anti-inflammatory agent) two to seven days before surgery.

    Pain medicine to stop taking before surgery
    Medicine (brand name example) Days before surgery to stop taking
    diclofenac (Cataflam®, Voltaren®)
    diflunisal (Dolobid®
    etodolac (Lodine®)
    fenoprofen (Nalfon®)
    flurbiprofen (Ansaid®
    ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®)
    indomethacin (Indocin®2
    ketoprofen (Orudis®, Oruvail®
    ketorolac (Toradol®
    mefenamic acid (Ponstel®2
    nabumetone (more than 1,000 mg a day) (Relafen®4
    naproxen (Anaprox®, Naprosyn®, Naprelan®)2
    oxaprozin (Daypro®4
    piroxicam (Feldene®4
    sulindac (Clinoril®)
    tolmetin (Tolectin®)  2

    Check your medicine(s) to see if they contain any of those listed above.

    Ask your pharmacist, if you should stop taking any combination medicine that includes any of those listed above.

  • Important

    The list does not include all medicines you may be taking.

    If you do not see your medicine(s), ask your pharmacist if you should stop taking your medicine(s).

    Check with your doctor or surgeon if you are taking any medicines for non-pain management reasons (such as amitriptyline for depression).

Copyright Information

This site is presented for information only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Allina Health®, Allina®, the Allina Health logo, and Medformation® are registered trademarks of Allina Health System. Presentation and Design ©2015 Allina Health. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED