What Pain Medication Can You Take After Gastric Bypass?

What Pain Medication Can You Take After Gastric Bypass?

After you have bariatric surgery, your doctor may give you different medicines. It’s likely that painkillers will be part of this. The pain you feel after surgery will be well controlled by these medicines.

Some patients may have mild to moderate pain, while others will have more severe pain. The painkillers your doctor gives you are important to help you get better quickly.

This article will help you understand painkillers and other medicines that may be given to you after surgery. This article will also tell you not to take certain drugs after surgery because they will hurt your health and recovery.

How to Take Pain Medicine After Bariatric Surgery

Painkillers after weight-loss surgery

Different bariatric procedures can have different effects on how drugs are absorbed. Some medicines can only be broken down in an acidic stomach, but after bariatric surgery, gastric acid is greatly reduced. You should not take medications unless instructed to do so by your doctor or nurse.

Pain after gastric bypass surgery can be well managed with non-opioid and/or opioid pain medications. In the days after your bariatric surgery, your doctor will tell you to take these medicines.

It’s important to get a handle on your pain as soon as possible after surgery. Most of the time, this is done by starting with stronger painkillers and then “stepping down” to other medicines. If pain isn’t controlled soon after surgery, it can be hard to control it later, which can slow recovery.

What Pain Medication Can You Take After Gastric Bypass?

Pain Relief Without Opioids

Acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol, is a non-opioid painkiller that is often given after bariatric surgery. Keep in mind that taking too much acetaminophen can hurt your liver. For mild to moderate pain, non-opioid medicines work better than opioids.

Opioid Medication for Pain

Opioid painkillers should only be used for very severe pain that other painkillers may not be able to treat well. Due to their side effects and ability to become addictive, opioids should not be used too often.

Opioids should only be used at their lowest effective dose and for the shortest amount of time possible.

Some opioids that are often prescribed are:

  • Hydrocodone,
  • Morphine,
  • Oxycodone

Some combinations of non-opiates and opiates are:

  • Codeine and acetaminophen together
  • Acetaminophen and oxycodone

Some possible side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Large doses may affect breathing in strange ways.
  • Long-term use can lead to addiction.

Don’t take these painkillers after having a gastric bypass.

Don’t take any pain medication that is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) until your doctor tells you to.

Some NSAIDs are:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex) and Asprin (Bayer)

Scientists have found that NSAIDs make it more likely for stomach ulcers, perforations, and leaks to happen in the GI tract. If you can’t stay away from them, talk to your doctor or nurse. Proton pump inhibitors could be used to lower the acid in the stomach.

After surgery, it’s harder to figure out what’s wrong and treat stomach ulcers.

When you should get in touch with your doctor:

  • If you have bleeding that doesn’t make sense or vomit blood,
  • If you experience unacceptable side effects,
  • If you are in a lot of pain even though you are taking painkillers,
What Pain Medication Can You Take After Gastric Bypass?

What other drugs will I have to take after bariatric surgery?

After the bariatric surgery, you will probably have to start taking your old long-term medications again. Because weight loss surgery changes how your digestive system works, the amounts of these medicines may need to be changed. Your doctor will tell you what to do.

Instead of extended-release medications, you should use crushed or liquid rapid-release medications so that they can be absorbed right away after surgery. If a pill can be broken up or a capsule can be opened, this may be how your bariatric team suggests you take it.

Some of the medicines you get after surgery will need to be taken for a long time.

Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI)

A proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which is an antacid, will be given as a preventive measure. If a person has had ulcers in the past, they may be told to keep taking it even a year after weight-loss surgery.

Omeprazole (Prilosec) is an example of a PPI. They help keep stomach ulcers from happening by making your stomach and small intestine less acidic. Ulcers can happen to some people who have had bariatric surgery.

Bile Acid

Ursodiol, a bile acid, will be administered to prevent gallbladder problems. Gallstones will not form because of this medicine. When a person has bariatric surgery and loses a lot of weight, gallstones can happen.

Stopping births

It has been shown that weight-loss surgery makes people more fertile. Women who have had bariatric surgery will be told to use effective birth control for up to 2 years.

You and your child are at very high risk of not getting enough nutrients. When there are problems with an early pregnancy after bariatric surgery, the baby may be born early, be small for its gestational age, or not grow as much as it should.

What kinds of medicines should you buy before bariatric surgery?

After a bariatric procedure, there is a high chance that you will not be getting enough vitamins and minerals. You will be given a bariatric-specific multivitamin for life as a preventive measure. Usually, a chewable multivitamin is suggested right after surgery to help with healing, tolerability, and absorption.

After bariatric surgery, you will have to take multivitamins that are made for people your size. Your doctor may even advise you to begin taking them in a lower dose before surgery to begin preventing problems or to treat existing ones.

Bariatric-specific means that the nutrients are in line with the ASMBS guidelines for bariatric patients. These guidelines take into account the fact that weight loss surgery can cause problems with absorption and make specific vitamin and mineral recommendations.

Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron are some of the most common vitamins and minerals that will be discussed. Zinc, copper, vitamin B6, folic acid, thiamin, and vitamin A will be some of the other micronutrients.

A deficiency of a number of these micronutrients can cause a wide variety of symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, irritability, anemia, etc. 

Before considering additional supplements, hair loss should be addressed first by ensuring you are:

– Staying consistent with your bariatric-specific multivitamin

– Reaching daily protein goals (minimum of 60g – 80g protein/day, follow protein recommendations provided by your dietitian)

– Daily water intake (48-64oz)

– Consuming a variety of whole foods

– Blood work (this will show if a vitamin/mineral deficiency is the cause of hair loss)

and Vitamin A. 

If all of these points have been addressed, then you may be interested in a supplement to minimize hair loss. Your post-operative diet should also be rich in protein, and micro and macronutrients. A registered dietitian can assist you in your post-operative diet. 

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Early mobilization post-surgery is important in accelerating the road to recovery.  

When medically feasible and recommended by your practitioner, getting out of bed and doing light exercise can allow you to focus less on pain and improve your mood.

Diet after surgery should be healthy and balanced, including protein at each meal. If you are having a hard time reaching your daily protein goals, you may want to consider a protein supplement or high-protein meal replacement. A suitable diet after bariatric surgery should be a discussion between you and a registered dietitian.


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