Medicines you should stop taking before surgery

There may be certain medicines you are currently taking that need to be stopped before surgery. Please talk with your doctor before surgery to get instructions for which medicines you need to stop taking and for how long.

Your surgery may need to be delayed or canceled if you do not follow the medicine instructions from your doctor.

Blood-thinner medicine

If you are taking a 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 and Lovenox®, Arixtra™, or Fragmin®.

Anti-inflammatory medicine

These medicines include aspirin products and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Advil® and Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®) and celecoxib (Celebrex®). Some of these medicines may need to be stopped several days before your surgery.

Please talk with your doctor about how to take your medicines before your surgery.

Herbal medicine

Some herbal or natural medicines may increase your risk of bleeding from surgery or interfere with other medicines. Check with your doctor to see if any herbal medicines you are taking need to be stopped before surgery. Talk with your doctor before you start taking any herbal or natural medicine.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Understanding Your Colon or Rectal Surgery, can-ah-95399
First Published: 01/24/2013
Last Reviewed: 08/15/2017

Important

If you take diabetes medicine, ask the health care provider who is managing your diabetes if you should take your medicine before surgery.

If you take aspirin on a regular basis, talk with your doctor about when to stop taking it.