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I may be having a spinal block for a procedure and I was…

I may be having a...
I may be having a spinal block for a procedure and I was reading that blood thinners can be dangerous with a spinal block. I don't take blood thinners but do take a calcium channel blocker and losartan. Do these thin the blood at all?
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 191
Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.
Verified

Hello - This is Dr. Shaun and I am a pharmacist with over 15 years of experience. Thank you for the question and for using JustAnswer.

Blood thinners that need to be stopped prior to procedures include medications like Plavix, Effient, and Coumadin. Aspirin also thins the blood so you should avoid it also for now. Blood pressure medications such as calcium channel blockers and losartan are fine.

I hope this information helps you. If you need more or would like clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. Please also take a moment to rate your experience.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
is it a good idea to get a blood test beforehand to make sure I don't have any clotting issues.

I would only recommend that if you were predisposed to clotting issues (such as having been on a blood thinner before).

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok. I once had this Lupus anticoagulant test done and it was slightly positive. I think it was called the venom viper test, something like that. When I redid the test later it was normal. Do you know if I will be able to move my legs at all when I have a spinal block? Also what about an epidural?

If a DRVTI (the viper venom test) comes back positive, then a confirmation test is usually done. It is not unusual for the first test to be positive with a confirmation test to be negative (and therefore the entire test 'ruled' as negative).

Spinal blocks everything from the site of the injection and lower, including motor function. The difference here with an epidural is that epidurals can cause partial blockage of motor function whereas the spinal block will cause full blockage of motor function. Epidurals also leave a catheter in place so additional anesthesia can be administered. Spinal blocks are still sometimes used when the length of time of the procedure is well known, and therefore it is known how long you will need to be numb.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am worried that I will panic waiting for spinal to wear off. I don't want to be on any sedation drugs with the spinal. Would an epidural be better for me as I would feel partially?

Spinal Blocks and Epidurals are more determined by the type of procedure. However if they are giving you the option and based on your feelings about it, then yes I would request the epidural.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Which is the safest overall?

There is no real difference in safety. The same/similar medications are used and injected into the same/similar areas.

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The major benefit to epidural is if the anesthesia begins to wear off or the procedure lasts longer than expected, it is easier to administer more medication.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
does epidural wear off quicker after the surgery is done then spinal block?

Recovery time will depend on the actual medication given as well as the individual receiving it, but the recovery time is generally the same for either.

Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 191
Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.
Verified
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