Your Medicine Cabinet:
  Safe Remedies for Colds or Flu
We are in the middle of cold and flu season. If you have caught a bug, you may be confused about which over the counter remedies are usually acceptable or not for us to take. This article from my book, “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You” will guide you through.

Taking Pills Post-Op

It is important to continue your prescribed medications  post-op. But you may be concerned about taking pills that are large fearing that they might get stuck.  You can try crushing your pills and putting them in something like a little bit of applesauce.  Or you can buy a pill splitter to cut them in half.  However, be careful if you take timed or sustained released medication.  Check with your doctor or pharmacist to determine if the medication you take falls into this category.  These medications are not designed to be crushed and can release medications too quickly into your system. 

Timed and sustained release medications may no longer be the best choice if you have had gastric bypass surgery.  These are designed to slowly break down in the stomach and intestines.  Because of the change in your anatomy, they may not be absorbed correctly.  Immediate release medications seem to be better suited for gastric bypass patients.  Talk to your doctor about this.

Also, be sure that your primary care physician understands how rapidly you will be losing weight.  Many conditions are drastically improved soon after weight loss surgery including high blood pressure.  Your physician needs to monitor your medicationsso that they are correct for your changing needs.  A patient from my local support group was on blood pressure medication and about a month or two after surgery started complaining of dizziness and feeling faint.  When her problem was isolated, her doctor discovered that her high blood pressure medication was now too strong for her, causing her blood pressure to drop too low, making her feel faint.

In general, any non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug is not acceptable because they tend to cause bleeding and stomach ulcers. 

The following list is a general guide to over-the-counter drugs.  Be sure to check with your own surgeon to ensure that he or she agrees with these recommendations.

Medications to Avoid














Medications That Are Recommended For Colds






Tylenol Cold Products


Medications That Are Usually Well Tolerated
(Try to obtain sugar-free or diabetic formulas for any of these products




Tylenol Extra Strength




Dulcolax Suppositories

Fleet Enemas

Glycerin Suppositories

Milk of Magnesia



If you do not have your copy of my book “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You,” what are you waiting for?  It is recommended by surgeons across the country and has been dubbed the “unofficial bible of bypass patients” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Order your copy at