Published Aug 29, 2002
Okay, it's not really a specific nursing question but I haven't been able to find the answer and nobody else has known it. I should have probably asked you guys first, but...hopefully you can still help.
I would like to donate blood but I take a prescription med, to prevent migraines that I get, Amitriptyline. How long does it take for that to get out of my blood stream?
Thanks! Have a grrrreat day!
If you just go to a blood clinic they will have a manual specific to donation and medication. They will be able to tell you with a great deal of certainty.
sharann, BSN, RN
You probably should have no prob donating (and bless you for wanting to). I have donated on several meds and they had no prob taking my blood. Don't go off a necessary med in order to donate. It's more importqant that you stay well.
I can't really answer you about the drug... I don't have a drug book nearby, but I'd bet a good pharmacist could tell you.
My former Mother-In-Law is an RN and worked for the Red Cross for 5 years before she retired. She and I once talked about this subject and she said that part of her job was to interview the donors before they could donate. She said the Red Cross has a list of medications that are ok for people to be taking and still donate blood. They have all kinds of rules and regulations for that sort of thing. I'd suggest calling the Red Cross and and tell them about the drug, how often you take it, and if it would keep you from donating. If they say you can't donate then they should also be able to tell you how long from taking the last dose that you can become a donor.
Hopefully a Red Cross nurse will see this post!! LOL
I also take a prescription for my migraines, a sumatriptan. When I've gone to donate blood in the past, they say it's fine as long as I haven't taken it in the last 12 hours. Of course, now I'm barred for life from donating blood since I lived in England during the "mad cow disease" outbreak!
Here's some information from the American Red Cross site:
Regarding depression, they say:
Acceptable as long as you feel well and comfortable with the blood donation process. Medications for depression or anxiety do not disqualify you from donating.
Let me add this---
Amitriptyline is generally considered a tricyclic antidpressant, even though it has several indications for usage.
Also on meds in general, the site says:
Medications In almost all cases, medications will not disqualify you as a blood donor. Your eligibility will be based on the reason that the medication was prescribed. As long as the condition is under control and you are healthy, blood donation is usually permitted.
There are a handful of drugs that are of special significance in blood donation. Persons on these drugs have waiting periods following their last dose before they can donate blood:
Accutane (isoretinoin), Proscar (finasteride), and Propecia (finasteride) - wait 4 weeks .
Arava (leflunomide) - wait 3 months
Aspirin, no waiting period for donating blood. However you must wait 36 hours after taking aspirin or any medication containing aspirin before donating platelets by apheresis
Chemotherapy-type drugs used for conditions other than cancer ( examples: bleomycin, interferon, methotrexate) - wait 4 weeks from last dose
Coumadin, heparin or other prescription blood thinners- you should not donate since your blood will not clot normally. If your doctor discontinues your treatment with blood thinners, wait 5 days before returning to donate.
human pituitary-derived growth hormone at any time - you are not eligible to donate blood
Lupron used for condition other than cancer - wait 4 months from last dose
Plavix - wait 36 hours after taking this medication before donating platelets by apheresis
Soriatane (acitretin) - wait 3 years
Tegison (etretinate) at any time - you are not eligible to donate blood
Ticlid - wait 36 hours after taking this medication before donating platelets by apheresis
If you ever took Tegison (etretinate), you are not eligible to donate blood. If you ever took human pituitary-derived growth hormone, you are not eligible to donate blood. If you take aspirin, you can donate blood. However you must wait 36 hours after taking aspirin or any medication containing aspirin before donating platelets by apheresis. If you take Ticlid or Plavix, wait 36 hours after taking these medications before donating platelets by apheresis. If you are taking prescription blood thinners such as Coumadin or heparin, you should not donate since your blood will not clot normally. If your doctor discontinues your treatment with blood thinners, wait 5 days before returning to donate.
Thank you all, very much. You were very helpful. I'm kicking myself right now for not coming to you first. Have a wonderful day!
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