Taking Medication after Weight Loss Surgery

Dr. Alisha M. Fuller, FNP-BC Clinical Director

Taking Medication after Weight Loss Surgery What medications you take and how you take them will more than likely change after bariatric surgery. Taking medications that are not advised or in the wrong formulation, may lead to serious damage and cause adverse reactions in patients who have weight loss surgery. Large pills can block the opening to the stomach and can lead to pouch formation or erosion. Medications should be liquid, chewable, crushable, opened, or smaller than a tic-tac if swallowed. Most medications are available in liquid form, so please consult with your prescriber or pharmacist. Antibiotics are better tolerated when in liquid form.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) should be avoided after any bariatric surgery. These include Motrin, Aleve, Advil, Ibuprofen, Celebrex, Mobic, Naprosyn, Indocin, Daypro, Voltaren etc. These medications significantly increase the risk of developing marginal ulcers between the stomach pouch and Roux limb. They may also cause erosion of the Lap Band. Aspirin containing products should be used with caution. If your Health Care Provider advises a baby aspirin for heart problems that may be taken.

Prednisone should not be taken long term after surgery. This medication is normally prescribed for people with asthma, COPD, and skin conditions. If you have a Lap band we recommend coming into the office to have fluid removed from your band as this medication may affect your restriction.

Potassium supplements can be irritating to the lining of the stomach and they are large in size. Bariatric surgery patients should take potassium in the powdered form if prescribed. Gastric Bypass patients should avoid medications that are extended release, long acting, delayed release, and sustained release (XL, LA, SR, CR). There is not enough acid in the small stomach pouch to help digest these medications and their absorption may be decreased. Following these guidelines will insure healthy weight loss and proper disease management. It is important to remember that other Prescribers may not be familiar with weight loss surgery patient medications and how they should be taken. Please contact our offices with any questions regarding medication.

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