Medications after gastric sleeve: Q&A for you

After your surgery, you might feel pain either because of your incisions or you may feel disturbed about the side effects; or simply there could be medications that you regularly use and you may wonder how to take them. Taking medication after gastric surgery requires attention and further research. What we know for sure is that every drug should be evaluated in detail when it comes to its absorption and therefore effectiveness.

Some of the pharmaceuticals may cause potential harm to the stomach. The situation of every patient is individual, so you need to discuss the usage of any kind of drug with your surgeon. If you take prescribed medication, make sure to inform your doctor about it. Never buy any supplements or other “innocent” looking vitamins or minerals without previous consultation with a physician. Remember that you should always be cautious when taking medications after gastric sleeve.

Which medications can you use after gastric sleeve?

There are many different types of drugs that you may need or want to take after your gastric sleeve surgery. They might be over-the-counter painkillers, cold medicine, hormonal medications, and many others. Some of these medications after gastric sleeve require a prescription and some are the drugs that you use on a regular basis. You might need others due to the surgery itself and you’ll be given them at the hospital as your discharge medications.

What pain medication can I take after gastric sleeve surgery?

You may use drugs containing paracetamol and acetaminophen as a pain medication after gastric sleeve. They are less harmful to your stomach, unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These you should be avoiding for a while, because they may cause stomach ulsters and be the reason for other side effects on your sensitive stomach. Ask your doctor for prescription pain medication to make sure they won’t cause you any post-op complications.

What cold meds can you take after gastric sleeve?

For common colds, you may use paracetamol, which is an analgesic/antipyretic drug. You can also buy acetaminophen to treat fever and pain. To cure cough you may take dextromethorphan or guaifenesin. Keep in mind that cold symptoms are in fact similar to some side effects of sleeve gastrectomy. Consult your doctor to make sure about what your symptoms actually mean, because they don’t necessarily have to be a sign of a cold.

Can you take antibiotics after gastric sleeve?

You will most probably get antibiotics before your gastric sleeve surgery to help reduce the risk of infection. Keep in mind that you must avoid taking any of these types of medication without a prescription. You may only consume antibiotics prescribed by your doctor, or otherwise, they can interfere with the healing process and cause damage to your health.

When taking prescribed antibiotics you can ask your doctor about probiotic therapy, which is going to improve your gut microflora and help you avoid a yeast infection.

What can I take for constipation or diarrhea?

Anti-diarrhea medications are safe to use after gastric sleeve and Loperamide is one of them. You may also ask your doctor about probiotics after the gastric sleeve that won’t cause you any harm, but on the opposite – have a positive impact on the recovery of your digestive system. Remember about proper water intake to avoid dehydration and therefore diarrhea. While fiber is very important in your post-op diet, try increasing it gradually. 

Sleeve gastrectomy may easily cause constipation too. Stool softeners after gastric sleeve are oral osmotics, such as magnesium hydroxide, and stimulant laxatives.

What meds can I take to relieve gas pain?

Gas x after gastric sleeve can be a great solution if you are facing a common problem of excess gas after the surgery. Increased gas is common in the first 3-6 weeks. Medicine generally recommended in this situation is Gas-X, or any other drugs that are including simethicone as needed for gas pain relief. They are the drugs that will most probably be well tolerated by your stomach, but you need to make sure and ask your physician about using them.

Can I take meds for my GERD?

Yes, you can take acid reflux medication after gastric sleeve, if your doctor prescribes them. Medications that are usually used for gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) include antacids, H2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.

Gastric sleeve surgery might make symptoms of GERD worse. If you didn’t experience GERD before, keep in mind that this procedure can create additional pressure on your lower esophagus and therefore cause reflux.

What allergy medicine can I take after gastric sleeve?

Allergy medications are safe to take after sleeve gastrectomy unless combined with NSAIDs, which can be harmful after the surgery. Generally, allergy drugs recommended after gastric sleeve surgery are those containing diphenhydramine, brompheniramine, phenylephrine, or pseudoephedrine.

The question here is whether some antiallergic treatment is at risk of being ineffective due to worse dissolution after the procedure. One study shows that the absorption of desloratadine-based medications doesn’t change after gastric sleeve surgery, so they should be preferred over loratadine-based drugs. Keep in mind that antiallergic therapy after the surgery requires special attention from your doctor.

Am I able to take my thyroid medication after gastric sleeve?

After gastric sleeve surgery, patients with higher TSH levels are recommended to switch from tablet levothyroxine to a liquid solution or crushed powder. Thyroxine dosage might require reduction due to your weight loss, so your thyroid condition has to be monitored after your sleeve gastrectomy.

Can I continue with my psychiatric medications?

It’s extremely important that any kind of psychiatric medication, such as antidepressants or ADHD meds after gastric sleeve, should be prescribed medications under monitoring. The reason for this is potential reductions in drug absorption. Patients need to be monitored closely for the first 6-12 months following the procedure.

Depression and anxiety symptoms improved in a majority of cases after gastric sleeve surgery. Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication were changed in 1/3 of cases, by decreasing the dosage or even discontinuation the treatment. In the case of patients with depression and anxiety whose symptoms improved, the drugs were decreased or discontinued in a very high number of over 90%. 

Can I take melatonin after gastric sleeve?

Melatonin after gastric sleeve can be a safe and effective premedication. It may also improve sleep quality and recovery from both the surgery and anesthesia, and decrease your pain level. A study shows that the usage of melatonin improves the quality of recovery 1 day after bariatric surgery.

Sleeping pills after gastric sleeve aren’t suggested without first talking to your doctor. If you suffer from insomnia, consult with your physician before you decide to take any sleep medications.

Can you take collagen after gastric sleeve surgery?

The benefits of taking collagen after gastric sleeve surgery might be most useful when it comes to decreasing appetite, muscle growth, or healing your wounds. Collagen might in fact be a good addition to your diet, but there aren’t enough studies yet to support it. If you want to get collagen benefits, especially for wound healing and muscle growth, you additionally need to consume food that is rich in protein sources, as well as vitamin C, and always remember to drink enough water.

Can you use hormonal medications?

Hormonal medications may include birth control pills, or steroids You should discuss steroid use with your surgeon before deciding to undergo a gastric sleeve surgery. Steroids after gastric sleeve may cause weight gain, and therefore obesity. During your healing process, chronic intake of steroids might lead to infection, wound breakdown, or problems related to blood pressure and glucose control.

What about other hormonal medications? Can you take birth control pills after gastric sleeve? Taking estrogen-containing medications should be stopped for a minimum of two weeks after your sleeve gastrectomy. They may cause blood clots, so using them after the operation can be dangerous.

It’s crucial that pregnancy should be avoided for approximately 12–18 months after gastric sleeve surgery. However, you need to know that all the changes in your digestive tract that affect your nutrition also affect how you absorb certain oral medications. It’s also the case with birth control pills, which are less effective after your sleeve gastrectomy. You should discuss with your OB-GYN other, non-oral forms of contraceptive treatment.

Can you take viagra after gastric sleeve?

First of all, patients are generally suggested not to take Viagra a day before and after any kind of surgery because the nitric oxide of this drug combined with anesthetics may increase hypotension. This sort of abnormal fall in blood pressure may lead to heart and multi-organ failure and be extremely dangerous.

Remember that weight loss surgeries, including sleeve gastrectomy, are in fact helpful when it comes to male sex hormones and therefore improve erectile function. You probably won’t feel like having sexual intercourse after your surgery, and it’s also not recommended for some weeks after the procedure. Following your healing process, you will most probably experience positive changes in your sex life after gastric sleeve surgery.

Keep in mind that many drugs are absorbed in a different manner after your sleeve gastrectomy, so you need to ask your doctor about that too.

Does gastric sleeve affect medication absorption?

How are medications absorbed differently after gastric sleeve surgery? Remember that your stomach is recovering after the operation, so it won’t be able to absorb drugs in the same way for some time. You’ll need to discuss with your doctor whether to reduce dosages of some of the medications after gastric sleeve, or even refrain from taking certain drugs temporarily or indefinitely.

An example of drugs that need to be mentioned here is extended release medication after gastric sleeve. This kind of medicine can be difficult to absorb after your sleeve gastrectomy, so you should avoid using them entirely.

How to take medication after gastric sleeve

Your diet following gastric sleeve surgery is going to be based on liquids for at least two weeks, and so should your medications. If you can’t find a liquid version of your drugs, you may choose tablets or capsules too, but they have to be open or crushed and mixed with some fluids. Another option is medications that can be chewed or that can be taken sublingually. This form of drug delivery allows faster and better absorption. Pay attention to the sugar level in these liquid medications, because some of them may contain a lot of glucose.

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