Can I Take Nyquil or Dayquil After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery changes your digestive system and how you absorb nutrients dramatically. The same is true for medications, and your surgeon may recommend that you avoid certain types. For example, surgeons often recommend avoiding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen because they may increase the risk of stomach ulcers. It’s important to read the labels, as many branded painkillers are NSAIDs, including Advil, Aleve, and Motrin.

However, this doesn’t mean you must suffer through illnesses like the common cold or flu. The following are several medications you can take to relieve a variety of cold and flu symptoms:

Aches, Pains, and Fevers

  • Acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol)


  • Dextromethorphan (brand names: Delsym, Robitussin, Vicks 44)
  • Guaifenesin (brand name: Mucinex)

Nasal Congestion

  • Diphenhydramine (brand name: Benadryl)
  • Phenylephrine (brand name: Sudafed PE)
  • Pseudoephedrine (brand name: Sudafed)
  • Nose sprays and irrigations

Sore Throat

  • Throat lozenges (brand name: Halls, Cepaco)
  • Sore throat sprays (brand name: Chloraseptic)

Multi-Symptom Products

  • Nyquil Cold and Flu Relief
  • Robitussin DM
  • Sudafed Cold and Sinus
  • Theraflu Severe Cold and Congestion
  • Tylenol Cold and Flu

Are There Any Caveats to Taking Nyquil/Dayquil After Bariatric Surgery?

Alcohol affects bariatric patients much faster due to the changes in their anatomy. With Nyquil containing 10% alcohol, you may question whether it’s a good idea to take Nyquil/Dayquil after bariatric surgery. While standard liquid Nyquil contains alcohol, Nyquil LiquiCaps and Alcohol-Free Nyquil Cold & Nighttime Relief Liquid do not. Dayquil is also alcohol-free.

Individuals with high blood pressure also need to be cautious when taking Nyquil/Dayquil after bariatric surgery. The active ingredients in Nyquil/Dayquil provide pain relief, reduce fevers, suppress coughs, and reduce nasal congestion. However, some decongestants work by narrowing blood vessels, which can raise blood pressure. Nyquil/Dayquil High Blood Pressure Cold & Flu Relief is the better option for bariatric patients with high blood pressure. The high blood pressure formula is also alcohol-free and sugar-free. Sugar-free cold and flu medicines are better for bariatric patients, as sugar may cause dumping syndrome.

Finding the cold and flu medication that works best for you after bariatric surgery can feel daunting. The medicine aisles at grocery stores and pharmacies have numerous products and brands. It’s not always clear which product is best for you. Your surgeon or doctor can help answer your medication questions, or you can ask the pharmacist for guidance.

Are you considering weight loss surgery? Contact us to schedule a consultation and discuss any questions you may have.


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