“A lot changes after weight loss surgery. Like food, your body won’t absorb medicines as well” after bariatric (weight loss) surgery, according to the experts.

A third of Australians are obese, and some of them need surgery to help them lose weight. Weight-loss surgery, however, can alter how medications function.

Dr. Teresa Girolamo and Rosemary Allin from Adelaide, both experts in weight loss, talk about how some medications’ doses may need to be adjusted following bariatric (weight loss) surgery in Australian Prescribers.

Every year, about 100,000 weight loss procedures are performed in Australia. Some procedures restrict food absorption, while others shrink the stomach so you eat less.

“Like food, your body won’t absorb medicines as well after surgery,” warns Dr. Girolamo.

“If you are taking mood stabilisers or antidepressants,” according to the expert, “you may need to take more to have the same effect.”

“After surgery, you may not be able to absorb slow-release medicines as well. You may need to crush some tablets or chang them into a liquid form to help with absorption. It is also important to avoid medicines that affect the stomach lining like ibuprofen and aspirin,” she adds.

“After weight loss surgery,” according to her, “alcohol will be absorbed more quickly and cleared from the body more slowly. This could affect driving.

“Birth control pills may not be reliable due to reduced absorption so you should consider other birth control methods.

“Also, you will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of your life.”

Positively, according to Dr. Girolamo, if you lose weight, you might require less medication for blood pressure, diabetes, pain, or depression.

“A lot changes after weight loss surgery. Your doctor, pharmacist and dietitian can help you adjust to the changes,” she adds.

Source: 10.18773/ austprescr.2022.053

Image Credit: Getty

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