Common Medications Containing Aspirin, Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), or Vitamin E

This information will help you identify medications that contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E. It’s important to stop taking these medications before many cancer treatments. They affect your platelets (blood cells that clot to prevent bleeding) and can increase your risk of bleeding during treatment.

Other dietary supplements (such as other vitamins and herbal remedies) can also affect your cancer treatment. For more information, read the resource Herbal Remedies and Cancer Treatment.

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Instructions Before Your Cancer Treatment

If you take aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E, tell your healthcare provider. They’ll tell you if you need to stop taking it. You’ll also find instructions in the information about your treatment. Read the “Examples of Medications” section to see if your medications contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E.

Before your surgery

Follow these instructions if you’re having surgery or a surgical procedure. If your healthcare provider gives you other instructions, follow those instead.

  • If you take aspirin or a medication that contains aspirin, you may need to change your dose or stop taking it 7 days before your surgery. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Don’t stop taking aspirin unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • If you take vitamin E or a supplement that contains vitamin E, stop taking it 7 days before your surgery or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • If you take an NSAID or a medication that contains an NSAID, stop taking it 48 hours (2 days) before your surgery or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Before your radiology procedure

Follow these instructions if you’re having a radiology procedure (including Interventional Radiology, Interventional Mammography, Breast Imaging, and General Radiology). If your healthcare provider gives you other instructions, follow those instead.

  • If you take aspirin or a medication that contains aspirin, you may need to stop taking it 5 days before your procedure. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Don’t stop taking aspirin unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • If you take an NSAID or a medication that contains an NSAID, you may need to stop taking it 24 hours (1 day) before your procedure. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

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 have been getting it, talk with your healthcare provider before taking aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E.

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Examples of Medications

Medications are often called by their brand name. This can make it hard to know their ingredients. The lists below can help you identify medications that contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E.

These lists include the most common products, but there are others. Make sure your healthcare provider always knows all the prescription and over-the-counter (not prescription) medications you’re taking, including patches and creams.

Common Medications Containing Aspirin
Aggrenox® Cama® Arthritis Pain Reliever Heartline® Robaxisal® Tablets
Alka Seltzer® COPE® Headrin® Roxiprin®
Anacin® Dasin® Isollyl® Saleto®
Arthritis Pain Formula Easprin® Lanorinal® Salocol®
Arthritis Foundation Pain Reliever® Ecotrin® (most formulations) Lortab® ASA Tablets Sodol®
ASA Enseals® Empirin® Aspirin (most formulations) Magnaprin® Soma® Compound Tablets
ASA Suppositories® Epromate® Marnal® Soma® Compound with Codeine Tablets
Ascriptin® and Ascriptin A/D® Equagesic Tablets Micrainin® St. Joseph® Adult Chewable Aspirin
Aspergum® Equazine® Momentum® Supac®
Asprimox® Excedrin® Extra-Strength Analgesic Tablets and Caplets Norgesic Forte® (most formulations) Synalgos®-DC Capsules
Axotal® Excedrin® Migraine Norwich® Aspirin Tenol-Plus®
Azdone® Fiorgen® PAC® Analgesic Tablets Trigesic®
Bayer® (most formulations) Fiorinal® (most formulations) Orphengesic® Talwin® Compound
BC® Powder and Cold formulations Fiortal® Painaid® Vanquish® Analgesic Caplets
Bufferin® (most formulations) Gelpirin® Panasal® Wesprin® Buffered
Buffets II® Genprin® Percodan® Tablets Zee-Seltzer®
Buffex® Gensan® Persistin® ZORprin®
Common NSAID Medications That Don’t Contain Aspirin
Advil® Duexis® Mefenamic Acid PediaCare Fever®
Advil Migraine® Etodolac® Meloxicam Piroxicam
Aleve® Feldene® Menadol® Ponstel®
Anaprox DS® Fenoprofen Midol® Relafen®
Ansaid® Flurbiprofen Mobic® Saleto 200®
Arthrotec® Genpril® Motrin® Sulindac
Bayer® Select Pain Relief Formula Caplets Ibuprofen Nabumetone Toradol®
Celebrex® Indomethacin Nalfon® Treximet®
Celecoxib Indocin® Naproxen Vicoprofen®
Children’s Motrin® Ketoprofen Naprosyn® Vimovo®
Clinoril® Ketorolac Nuprin® Voltaren®
Daypro® Lodine® Orudis®  
Diclofenac Meclofenamate Oxaprozin  
Products Containing Vitamin E
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, check the label.

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About Acetaminophen

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. But, talk with your healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen if you’re getting chemotherapy.

 
Medications Containing Acetaminophen
Acephen® Esgic® Percocet® Vanquish®
Aceta® with Codeine Excedrin P.M.® Primlev® Vicodin®
Acetaminophen with Codeine Fiorcet® Repan® Wygesic®
Aspirin-Free Anacin® Lorcet® Roxicet® Xartemis XR®
Arthritis Pain Formula® Aspirin-Free Lortab® Talacen® Xodol®
Datril® Naldegesic® Tempra® Zydone®
Di-Gesic® Norco® Tylenol®  
Endocet® Panadol® Tylenol® with Codeine No. 3  

Read the labels on all your medications

Acetaminophen is safe when used as directed. But, there’s a limit to how much you can take in a day. It’s possible to take too much without knowing because it’s in many different prescription and over-the-counter 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
APAP AC Acetaminop
Acetamin Acetam Acetaminoph

Always read and follow the label on the product you’re taking. Don’t take more than 1 medication that contains acetaminophen at a time without talking with a member of your healthcare team.

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