This information will help you identify medications that contain aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It’s important to stop these medications before many cancer treatments.
Aspirin, other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), and vitamin E can increase your risk of bleeding during cancer treatment. These medications affect your platelets, which are blood cells that clot to prevent bleeding.
Read the section “Examples of Medications” to see if your medications contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E.
If you take aspirin, medications that contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E, tell your doctor or nurse. They will tell you if you need to stop taking these medications before your treatment. You will also find instructions in the information about the treatment you’re having.
Before Your Surgery
If you’re having surgery, follow the instructions below.
- Stop taking medications that contain vitamin E 10 days before your surgery, or as directed by your doctor.
- Stop taking medications that contain aspirin 7 days before your surgery, or as directed by your doctor. If you take aspirin because you’ve had a problem with your heart or you’ve had a stroke, be sure to talk with your doctor before you stop taking it.
- Stop taking NSAIDs 48 hours before your surgery, or as directed by your doctor.
Before Your Radiology Procedure
If you’re having a radiology procedure (including Interventional Radiology, Interventional Mammography, and General Radiology), follow the instructions below.
- Stop taking medications that contain vitamin E 10 days before your procedure, or as directed by your doctor.
- If your doctor tells you to stop taking aspirin, stop taking it 5 days before your procedure, or as directed by your doctor. If you take aspirin because you’ve had a problem with your heart or you’ve had a stroke, be sure to talk with your doctor before you stop taking it.
- Stop taking NSAIDs 24 hours before your procedure, or as directed by your doctor.
Before and During Your Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy can lower your platelet count, which can increase your risk of bleeding. Whether you’re just starting chemotherapy or you’ve been getting it, talk with your doctor or nurse before taking aspirin or NSAIDs.Back to top
Examples of Medications
Medications are often called by their brand name, which can make it hard to know their ingredients. To help you identify medications that contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, and vitamin E, please review the lists below.
These lists include the most common products, but there are others. Check with your healthcare provider if you aren’t sure. Always be sure your doctor knows all of the medications you’re taking, both prescription and over-the-counter (not prescription).
|Aggrenox®||Bufferin® (most formulations)||Fiorgen®||Momentum®||Soma® Compound Tablets|
|Alka Seltzer®||Buffets II®||Fiorinal® (most formulations)||Norgesic Forte® (most formulations)||Soma® Compound with Codeine Tablets|
|Anacin®||Buffex®||Fiortal®||Norwich® Aspirin||St. Joseph® Adult Chewable Aspirin|
|Arthritis Pain Formula||Cama® Arthritis Pain Reliever||Gelpirin®||PAC® Analgesic Tablets||Supac®|
|Arthritis Foundation Pain Reliever®||COPE®||Genprin®||Orphengesic®||Synalgos®-DC Capsules|
|Ascriptin® and Ascriptin A/D®||Ecotrin® (most formulations)||Headrin®||Percodan® Tablets||Talwin® Compound|
|Aspergum®||Empirin® Aspirin (most formulations)||Isollyl®||Persistin®||Vanquish® Analgesic Caplets|
|Asprimox®||Epromate®||Lanorinal®||Robaxisal® Tablets||Wesprin® Buffered|
|Axotal®||Equagesic Tablets||Lortab® ASA Tablets||Roxiprin®||Zee-Seltzer®|
|Bayer® (most formulations)||Excedrin® Extra-Strength Analgesic Tablets and Caplets||Marnal®||Salocol®|
|BC® Powder and Cold formulations||Excedrin® Migraine||Micrainin®||Sodol®|
|Bayer® Select Pain Relief Formula Caplets||Flurbiprofen||Meloxicam||Orudis®|
|Amino-Opt-E||Aquavit||E-400 IU||E complex-600|
|Aquasol E||D’alpha E||E-1000 IU Softgels||Vita-Plus E|
Most multivitamins contain vitamin E. If you take a multivitamin, be sure to check the label.Back to top
Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is generally safe to take during your cancer treatment. It doesn’t affect platelets, so it won’t increase your chance of bleeding. However, talk with your doctor before taking acetaminophen if you’re getting chemotherapy.
|Aceta® with Codeine||Esgic®||Panadol®||Tylenol® with Codeine No. 3|
|Acetaminophen with Codeine||Excedrin P.M.®||Percocet®||Vanquish®|
|Arthritis Pain Formula® Aspirin-Free||Lorcet®||Roxicet®||Wygesic®|
Acetaminophen is safe when used as directed, but there’s a limit to how much you can take in 1 day. It’s possible to take too much acetaminophen without knowing because it’s in many different medications.
Make sure to always read and follow the label on the product you’re taking. Acetaminophen is a very common ingredient found in over-the-counter and prescription medications. It’s often an ingredient in pain relievers, fever reducers, sleep aids, and cough, cold, and allergy medications.
The full name acetaminophen isn’t always written out. Look for the common abbreviations listed below, especially on prescription pain relievers.
|Common Abbreviations for Acetaminophen|
Don’t take more than 1 medication that contains acetaminophen at a time without talking with a member of your healthcare team.Back to top