How are routinely used medications managed perioperatively?

Updated: Jan 09, 2018
  • Author: Nafisa K Kuwajerwala, MD; Chief Editor: William A Schwer, MD  more...
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Routinely used medications have many potential interactions with drugs used during surgery, but few situations prohibit concurrent administration. The half-life of routinely used medications and adjustment of the dose according to the perioperative schedule must be considered. Many medications must be continued through the perioperative period, with the last dose taken with a sip of clear liquid up to 2 hours prior to the procedure, and resumed during recovery.

Other drugs must be stopped, replaced, or temporarily administered by another route. Obtain advice on selecting alternative treatments from clinical or drug information pharmacists. Additional monitoring of the patient or plasma drug concentrations may be required when different treatments or formulations are used perioperatively. Heightened awareness and diligent documentation of patient medications from admission to discharge can reduce serious problems in the perioperative management of society's increasingly elderly and frail population.

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