Medications to Avoid After Gastric Bypass


Gastric bypass surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, is an operation that changes your digestive system to limit your food intake. The procedure helps patients to lose weight and can lower the risk of obesity-related medical problems. Although it has fewer complications than other weight-loss surgeries, patients need to be cautious about medications taken after surgery. Specifically, anti-inflammatory medications containing aspirin should be avoided for the first two months after surgery unless taking aspirin to prevent strokes.

Early Phase

The early phase after gastric bypass surgery is when the patient is limited to a liquid or puréed food diet. During this phase, the stomach is healing and large tablets or capsules that need to be taken should not be swallowed whole. Instead, for two weeks after surgery, they should be crushed or taken in liquid form. Medications that are irritating to the stomach should not be taken whether in tablet, capsule or liquid form.

Later Phase

In the later phase after gastric bypass surgery, solid foods can be eaten. However, the stomach is less sensitive with less acid directly entering the small intestine. During this phase, medications can be taken whole but caution needs to taken with very large tablets or capsules. As with the early phase, medications that are irritating to the stomach should not be taken whether in tablet, capsule or liquid form. Unless there is no other alternative, they should be taken with a strong antacid such as Prevacid.

Cough and Cold Preparations and Sleep Aid/Sedatives

Cough and cold preparations such as Aspergum and Alka-Seltzer Plus Flu Medicine Effervescent are irritating to the stomach and should be avoided after gastric bypass surgery. Likewise, sleep aids and sedatives such as Bayer PM Extra Strength Aspirin Plus Sleep Aid Caplet should not be taken.


Analgesics are medications used as pain killers and many are found as over-the-counter remedies. Tylenol can be taken, however, a list of analgesics to avoid includes Alka-Seltzer Effervescent Tablets, Alka-Seltzer with Aspirin, Anacin, Arthritis, A.S.A. Enseals, Anacin, Ascriptin, Ascriptin A/D, Aspergum, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Bayer Extra Strength Back and Body Pain, Bayer Plus Extra Strength, BC tablet and powder, Bufferin, Bufferin Arthritis Strength, Cama Ecotrin, Coricidin, Darvon, Emagrin, Empirin, Excedrin Migraine, Fiorinal, Goody's Headache Powder, PAC Analgesic tablets, Saleto, St. Joseph Adult Chewable Aspirin and Vanquish Caplet.

Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

NSAIDS are common medications and should be avoided as they are extremely irritating the stomach. These include medications such as Aleve, Anaprox, Advil, Motrin , Arthrotec, Celebrex, Clinoril, Dolobid , Feldene, Indocin , Lodine, Mobic), Naproxen, Naprosyn, Orudis, Tolectin and Toradol.

Other Medications

Other medications to avoid as they may increase the risk of bleeding in the stomach or small intestine include Flurbiprofen (Ansaid), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, OrudisKT) and Naproxen (Aleve and Naprosyn). Potassium Pills such as K- Dur, Klor-Con, Micro-K, KCl should also be avoided, however, liquid potassium can be taken. Steroids including prednisone, cortisone and intravenous steroids (Solucortef, Solumedrol) should also be avoided.

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