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Medicines that may be used during your recovery after surgery

Some of these medicines are only used while you are in the hospital. Your health care team will give you instructions for any medicines you need to take after you leave the hospital.

Medicines that may be used during your recovery after surgery
Type of medicine Purpose Possible side effects Preventing side effects
Stool softeners
  • Help to prevent constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • stomach cramps
  • dizziness
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
Anti-inflammatory pain medicine
  • Decrease swelling at the surgery site
  • nausea
  • gas
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • Do not take on an empty stomach.
Antibiotics
  • Help to prevent infection at the surgery site
  • diarrhea
  • itching
  • Take for only a short time after surgery. Follow any instructions given to you.
Anti-nausea
  • Help to decrease nausea
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • headache
  • Do not take on an empty stomach.
Blood thinning medicines (anti-coagulation)
  • Help to prevent blood clots
  • bruising
  • nausea
  • heart burn
  • skin rash
  • Take for only a short time after surgery. Follow any instructions given to you.
  • Do not do activities that may lead to injury.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Knee Replacement, seventh edition, ortho-ah-90140
First Published: 10/01/2000
Last Reviewed: 02/01/2020