Medications To Avoid After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

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Gastric sleeve surgery can be a life-changing procedure for patients who have tried other treatments without success. It involves removing a portion of the stomach and connecting the new portion to the esophagus, using techniques that are refined over the years.

During the recovery process, many lifestyle changes will need to be made. However, you may not have considered that your medications will probably change, as well. Not only that, but recovering from gastric sleeve surgery requires avoiding certain medications that can get in the way of the recovery process. Which medications are they, and why should they be avoided?

Medication and Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgeries, including gastric sleeve, will affect the medications that you can take. This is because patients undergo a procedure that changes the way their digestive system works. Gastric sleeve surgery, for example, changes the size and shape of the stomach to prevent overeating and excessive hunger. As a result, it’s important that nothing gets in the way of the recovery process.

Some medications can cause harm to the stomach and intestinal lining. Normally, it’s not a problem; however, bariatric surgery patients are more susceptible to injury to the stomach and small intestine.

What medications can you not take after gastric sleeve?

Aspirin or aspirin-containing medications

Aspirin is a common pain medication that can irritate the tissue in the gastrointestinal tract. These are the most common medications containing aspirin:

  • Alka Seltzer
  • Bayer
  • Excedrin

It takes approximately one week for aspirin to be safe after gastric sleeve surgery.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the most common over-the-counter painkillers available. They’re highly effective, generally considered safe for most people, but they should NOT be taken after gastric sleeve surgery (or any bariatric surgery, for that matter).

Ibuprofen and naproxen are the most common NSAIDs available, but which drugs contain them? These are the most common medications that you should avoid that contain NSAIDs:

  • Advil
  • Motrin
  • Naprosyn
  • Aleve
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Celebrex

The reason why you should avoid NSAIDs is because they can cause stomach pain and ulcers. It’s recommended that you avoid NSAIDs for at least one month after surgery.

You might be asking “what painkillers can I take after gastric sleeve surgery”? Acetaminophen (or paracetamol outside the US) is a safe alternative to NSAIDs. Take Tylenol to relieve pain after gastric sleeve surgery.

Right after surgery, you may be prescribed opioids, however it’s up to you if you want to accept or take them. It’s recommended to take them only as needed and switch to Tylenol when the pain lessens a bit.

Other Considerations for Medication After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • For women: Your birth control may become less effective due to hormonal changes. Use protection when engaging in sexual intercourse.
  • Your normal medication doses will likely need to be adjusted as you lose weight in the first year. Your doctor will help make sure that you’re continuing to take the right doses of your medication.
  • Some gastric sleeve patients will be able to get off some of their meds entirely. Do not cease medication without discussing it with your doctor!

Read more: How To Eliminate Constipation After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Get Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Tijuana

If you’re looking to get weight loss surgery in Mexico and are looking for a lower cost way to get it done, Dr. Jalil Illan can help you. Getting gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana can lower your costs by more than half! Book a consultation with Dr. Jalil Illan today!

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