When should I stop (if at all) taking my anxiety medicine before surgery?

Doctor Answers 3

Anti-anxiety medications and surgery

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Usually medications that you need to take as part of your medication regimen usually do not have to be stopped before surgery. Yes, some do like aspirin products and blood thinners as allowed by your internist. Always best to ask your surgeon.  We give our patients a list of medications to avoid.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Anti-anxiety medication and surgery.

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Since virtually all anti-anxiety medications do not cause bleeding issues, this is not a concern. However, some anti-anxiety meds can interfere with safe anesthesia, and should be discussed with your surgeon and/or anesthesia provider.

Generally I allow my patients to take their medications on their usual schedule, as long as there are no anesthesia contra-indications.

Ask your surgeon and/or anesthesia provider for clarification and the absolutely safest answer. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 262 reviews

When should I stop (if at all) taking my anxiety medicine before surgery?

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It's a question of degree, although either way you need to speak with your surgeon about this.  In general, for small amounts of medication, I allow patients to continue to take their medication (it may even be counter-productive to stop it abruptly, in terms of an increase in anxiety during the peri-operative period).  For more significant amounts of medication, you should consult with your surgeon and whoever is prescribing it for guidance on tapering down, as necessary.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E
Member of RealSelf 100

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