Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Can I Donate Plasma Taking Medications?

Plasma donors often ask me, "will my medication get me disqualified from plasma donating or platelets?" The answer - yes and no. While some medications are harmless, acne medications like Avodart will get you banned for life from plasma donating. Some medications, like certain antibiotics, disqualify you from donating for 30 days after the last dose. Still other medications are perfectly fine, like allergy medicines, birth control shots, and antacids.

Always call the plasma donation center or blood bank first because each center may have different rules.

Here is a list of medications you can and can't take before plasma donating:


  • Acne Medications (Accutane, E-Mycin, Solodyn, Soriatane, Propecia and Proscar): Must wait at least 30 days from last dose to donate.
  • Acne Medications (Roaccutane): indefinite deferral from donating.
  • Acne Medication (topical acid creams): no ineligibility from donation
  • Allergy or Anti-Histamine Medication: those with mild allergies and on anti-histamine therapy can donate. Chronic allergy sufferers, or those taking strong doses of anti-histamines are disqualified. If you have had an allergy shot, you can donate.
  • Antacids (like Tums, Alka-Seltzer, Prevacid, and Prilosec OTC): you can donate immediately, with no wait.
  • Anti-Coagulant, Anti Clotting Factor Medication, and Blood Thinners: prescription Blood thinners: donors are disqualified while taking long-term prescription blood thinning (anticoagulant) medication. This includes Coumadin (Warfarin), Heparin, and other blood thinning products. Taking blood thinners while donating leads to abnormal plasma, clotting, excessive bleeding, and unacceptable quality plasma for making anti-anemic medications.
  • Anti-Depressants or Anxiety Medication: no affect on plasma donation eligibility.
  • Anti-Fungal Medication (topical:) Topical anti-fungal medications, like for hair, nails, skin and scalp, have no affect on donation.
  • Antibiotics: Donors taking topical antibiotic creams, such as for athletes foot rash, fungal or nail infection can donate immediately. While taking oral antibiotics for an internal infection, like cipro, penicillin, bactrim, or amoxicillin, you must wait until 30 days after the infection has healed.
  • Anticonvulsant (Anti-Seizure) Medication: you must wait 1 year after your last seizure before donating again.
  • Arthritis Medication (osteoarthritis): you can donate immediately. 
  • Arthritis Medication (rheumatoid arthritis): indefinite, lifetime deferral from plasma donating.
  • Aspirin: Wait 48 hours for effects to wear off before plasma donating or platelets. Aspirin thins blood, which leads to excessive bleeding at injection site.
  • Asthma Medication: must wait 30 days after last athsma attack to donate, cannot donate if you've ever been in the ER for an athsma attack.
  • Birth control pills: Such as yasmin, yaz, ortho novum, and the birth control ring are fine. You can also donate immediately after getting the quarterly depo shot.
  • Blood Pressure Medication (high:) as long as your blood pressure is under control using medication, you can donate.
  • Blood Pressure Medication (low blood pressure): as long as your blood pressure is above the normal range using medication, you can donate.
  • Cholesterol Medication: high cholesterol controlled under medication, you may donate plasma.
  • Diet Pills: yes, you can donate, but all donors must remain above 110 pounds to maintain eligibility.
  • Hormones (Male, Female, or Menopause/Hormone replacement therapy): Male/female hormones (estrogen or testosterone) are eligible to donate. Hormones for hormone replacement therapy are eligible to donate immediately.
  • Hormones (growth hormones:) Cannot donate if you've taken beef-derived growth hormones before 1985. After 1985, taking growth hormones results in no disqualification.
  • Internal anti-fungal medication (oral ingested antibiotics:) for yeast infection, candida, or oral thrush, you must wait 30 days from the time of healing to donate.
  • Steroids (intramuscular injection): wait 2 days after receiving the injection to donate plasma
  • Steroids (topical, oral, and injection): you can donate immediately, without waiting.
  • Nasal Decongestants: May donate 1 week after being symptom free (from cough, cold, fever, runny nose, stuffy nose or sore throat.)
  • Natural Supplements (including fish oil pills, valerian root, st john's wort, iron pills, muscle bulk supplements, protein, bee pollen, cinnamon/ginger pills, and vitamins): you can donate immediately, with no affect on donation.
  • Schizophrenic Medication: yes, you can donate.
  • Sleeping Pills and Tranquilizers: you can donate immediately, with no waiting period.
  • Thyroid Medication: those whose thyroid levels are under control can donate plasma immediately.

What About Self Medication, Medical Testing, or Unlicensed Drugs?

If you did clinical trial testing for new medications, you need to inform the plasma center before donating. Unlicensed drugs by the FDA may have lingering side effects, even months or years after the last dose. Generally, clinical trial drugs have to be out of your system for 30 days before plasma donating.

If you self medicate, it depends on the medicine. Self injected (synthetic, not beef or pork) insulin is a perfectly acceptable prescription medicine for donating. Illegal drugs, or using needles not prescribed by your doctor, will disqualify you for life from plasma donating.

128 comments:

  1. Can you please tell me where is that you donate because I was told that I couldn't donate because I was antiphyschotic medication ( in Metairie, Louisiana )

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    1. I can't find a list of drugs you cannot take that is specific. However, over a year ago I was taking Lithium and got disqualified.

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    2. I was disqualified for lithium but not phentermine...?!

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    3. Lithium can cause birth defects so a pregnant plasma receiver would be harmed by Lithium.

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    4. Lithium can cause birth defects so a pregnant plasma receiver would be harmed by Lithium.

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  2. Can I donate blood plasma while taking zyrtec d?

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  3. Yes please tell us more about the antipsychotic meds and blood donation. I am concerned about that. Of course, none of the blood donation centers say that it disqualifies you, but if I have a first or second generation antipsychotic in my blood, and that blood goes to someone, could they get neuroleptic malignant syndrome? Especially if that drug was in a baby's blood transfusion!

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  4. I tried to donate over a year ago and was taking Lithium. I was disqualified.

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  5. would I be able to with percocet/

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    Replies
    1. I have numerous times. I get screened then pop one so im able to sit down that 1/2 hour.

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    2. The donation centers request a 3 day period between the last percocet taken and time of donation but not all people comply. They will random drug test your plasma every six months so it's your option opiates at a low level will not defer you.

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  7. Hydrocodone EX for back pain? NefediCal Xl and hydroclathiazide for blood pressure? Will.I be denied? And can they find out if I don't mention meds?

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    Replies
    1. Hydrocodone is acceptable after a 3 day wait before donating and the blood pressure meds are fine if your BP is within normal range at that time. People have taken percocets during donation and lied and have not been caught but it's a gamble if they drug test your plasma.

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  8. I was told I was banned because of "a new tattoo."
    Does this mean I'm banned for life? And if so does it mean just in that center or all?

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    1. You donate after 1 year of getting a tattoo.

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    2. For my center, it has to be a year. However depending on how many you may be banned for life. TN Rule

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    3. How many tattooes before you are banned for life?

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    4. How many tattooes before you are banned for life?

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  9. I was banned for life because I took Coumadin for six months over three years ago.

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  10. Can you donate if you are on diet medication and also Diazapam also used for my anxiety. .

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    Replies
    1. yes, I am on xanex and Effexor fo9r depression and severe anxiety, Belviq for weight loss. Told the center at time of initial screening, and no problems

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  11. Is there any antibiotic you can take and still donate my doc wants to put me on one for a sinus infection

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    Replies
    1. No, antibiotics require a 72 hour deferral from the last dose taken.

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  12. Apparently schizophrenia is a condition that will get you permanently deffered (disqualified) but you wont find out til the end of the very long process. It doesnt matter what meds you are on. Im not gonna say dont disclose your mental condition if you are reading this before u try and donate, so i wont lol.....went thru it so u might not have to lol

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    1. Not disclosing during initial intake, will cause more issues for you down the road. If things digress and an incident occurs where you have not disclosed important medical information, the center can and will permanently defer you and have in the past sought legal action on the donor for recouping lost financial interests. The process for recalling plasma is not only lengthy but cost the center and the company thousands of dollars. Plus, every single bottle of plasma donated can be traced back to you, from the center to the pharmacy that prescribe the medications made from your plasma. Anyone in between can also seek legal action. Food for thought before you go in and " not disclose your mental condition" remember most mental conditions require medications that are protein binding, when you donate you are donating proteins. therefor your binding capability of your medications is lacking and could become ineffective resulting in more serious health issues and maybe a stay at your local Padded Room Express.

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  13. I tried to donate plasma a few years back, while in school. I was told that lisinopril and metformin were both disqualifying. Now, I can't see lisinopril being that bad, since it's basically a large dose of potassium and is quickly excreted through urine. I am not sure of the ingredients in metformin, but again, I can't see why it would be disqualifying. When we're told we're DQ'd, when we know it's considered safe, is there any amount of arguing that will help?

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    1. A good rule of thumb is don't tell them shit. You start telling them all your medical conditions & drugs you take sooner a later they'll hook you with one of them.

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    2. They have a computer program where they can type your name into a database and get your prescription history for the last two years. Many doctor offices now have the program as well as pharmacies.

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    3. My husband is on metformin and lisinopril and has donated several times. And yes, he did report it. Is also on meds for high blood pressure. I got denied recently because I have poison sumac. Go figure

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    4. As long as u don't piss hot for illegal drugs. I didn't go into script history. In texas I was temp deferred for tets that wetent done in a shop. Even though they're 20 to 30 years old. Each org is different.

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    5. You can donate on lisinopril but will be deferred while on atenolol

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    6. with the metformin it's not the medication it's the condition

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    7. Metformin is not a deferring medication. Type 2 Diabetics can donate plasma taking Metformin as long as they are not also using injectable insulin. Insulin is what defers you. Not the diabetes. Type 1 is a permanent because you can't be a Type 1 and not be on insulin. its due to vCJD (mad cow disease)

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  14. Can I donate plasma If I have taking an oxycodone

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    Replies
    1. I'm trying to find out myself about oxycodone ER and IR and Ritalin ER too. They refused to answer over the phone. I refuse to waste my time going in to find out and then be turned away and banned.

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    2. Also I forgot I am in king county just south of seattle. Federal WAy. sorry

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  15. I see several peeps said they were disqualified for taking Lithium. Is this fact or just one center's decision?

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    Replies
    1. Ya, id like to know same, & if I don't say lithium how will they know? Is it in your initial test? Would I still get paid if not.. In need of similac and will do anything

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    2. Lithium can cause harm to a fetus if a pregnant woman receives your plasma. And yes. The very first donation sample is tested and discarded.

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    3. plasma centers are regulated by the FDA and the FDA says no to lithium because of the side effects so you should not be able to donate anywhere while taking lithium

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  16. meds that are reason for deferral are so for the safety of the donor. Ur blood volume will be lessened because of the process. 1 of 2 things can happen: 1. The med in ur bloodstream will become concentrated. 2. Some of the med will be processed (or pheresed) out. Either way you will no longer be in a therapeutic range for the med to work properly for u.

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  17. I was denied because I take testosterone and it says on the wed site that I could donate.

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  18. My son was denied for having a black eye

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  19. Does taking gabapentin disqualify a person taking it for hot flashes?

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  20. Okay I see that alot of ppl are saying not to disclose you medication list but if your talking medications won't it show up in your profile? They obviously have to screen your blood right? So how much do you say or not say? Fear of not getting disqualified. Not only that ur in this to HELP ppl not hurt them right but put $ in ur pocket at the same time so gotta be smart about what this right.

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    Replies
    1. Again, they can type your name into a program that will show any prescriptions you have had filled over the last two years. I would not risk not telling them.

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    2. I say lie and if they catch you lie some more.

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    3. How can they legally check your medical history that is confidential anyway and not public record

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    4. You probably signed a release! They can't check your blood or test you either without one!

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    5. Anyone know for certain whether taking Xanax will disqualify you?

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    6. I take 1/2 milligram xans...just show them like I did

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  21. I was disqualified for taking pravastatin. Why?

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  22. I was disqualified for taking pravastatin. Why?

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  23. I was disqualified for taking pravastatin. Why?

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    Replies
    1. Because you're ugly.

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    2. Because you're ugly.

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    3. It is one of the drugs listed to be harmful to a fetus or child plasma recipient.

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    4. It is one of the drugs listed to be harmful to a fetus or child plasma recipient.

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    5. anonymous has nothing better to do at 4 am but tell the internet about your appearance insecurities. so sad for you next time call a hotline to help yourself instead of trying to make yourself look superior when in actuality you're doing the exact opposite. just saying

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  24. I was just wondering what they test for in "new donors " I know it has changed in the past year or so. I was told they do not test for marijuana but prescription medicine. Which i understand some of the prescription medicine taking for things that you shouldn't donate plasma because of major illnesses and diseases. But taking like mild pain medicine like lortab, vicodine, hydrocodone they test for. Which is crazy if they dont test for marijuana. I just wanted to know if that's true or not

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    1. PLEASE I NEED to know if I take norcos , neurontin& amitriptyline does that disqualify me for giving plasma ???

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    2. Each center is different but most look at the combination of drugs and defer due to amount where as one single drug would have qualified.

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  25. Please remember your body needs plasma to function correctly as well. When you are on certain medications and remove it from your body, your body cannot adjust correctly. Not giving correct information can cause harm to yourself. They do test for illegal drugs including THC. You can ask about meds first thing before going through the 3 hour process it takes the first time you go in. I've seen what happens during a donation when a donor does not give correct info.

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  26. Do they test for hydrocodone

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    Replies
    1. They require a 3 day period from time of last use and donation. Drug tests may be required in some centers.

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  27. I take aderol, but it wasn't listed weather i can or can't donate on it. Anyone know?

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    Replies
    1. You can donate but they may require a release from your doctor to do it.

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    2. Do you know if you can donate whole taking mirtazapine

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  28. I donate all the time as a heavy user of THC and not once have I been deferred. I just don't go into the center high nor do I smoke on the day I donate, until I've donated.

    Only one problem, unrelated, in my two years.. my vein rolled; bruised.

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    Replies
    1. My fiance goes in high on thc been donating for two years and never on problem don't think anyone cares about thc and cbd

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    2. My fiance goes in high on thc been donating for two years and never on problem don't think anyone cares about thc and cbd

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  29. Does norco and neuron tin disqualify you?

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  30. Can i donate plasma im takeing warfarin.

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  31. I'm on Prednisone can I donate

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    Replies
    1. No. Got deferred for 30days from my last dose before i could be eligible to donate.

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    2. No. Got deferred for 30days from my last dose before i could be eligible to donate.

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  32. I take a regular regimen of Nocro, Robaxin, and also wear a Butrans patch for pain and muscle spasms. Would this be a disqualification?

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  33. I take seroquel and paxil. Can I donate?

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  34. Can I donate plasma on morphine?!

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  35. How about Xyrem? I have Idoopathic Hpersomnia and take Adderall during the day Xyrem at bedtime.

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  36. What about donating while on Methadone? I can't seem to find any real answers on this anywhere. I'd that a drug to get you deferred?

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  37. Can you donate if taking remron? A friend of mine was curious

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  38. Can you donate if your are on Eliquis, a blood thinner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No you can not because they give you an anticoagulant. Your best bet is to ask your local donation center how long you have to be off them before you can donate

      Delete
  39. I am in a wheelchair due to unknow causes, and i have a note from my doctor that i am OK to donate plasma. Currently only taking ibuprofen for headaches as needed (1 to 2 times a week). And havent been on antibiotics for 35 days. Is it ok for me to donate?

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. Can you donate while taking Topiramate (Topamax) for migraine prevention?

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  42. Can I donate if I just finished taking the antibiotics zithromycin (Z Pack)

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  43. What about Lamictil? Also Depakote? (I'm not on those together. Ones mine, they other my hubby's)

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    Replies
    1. I think they only disqualify lamictal if it's for epilepsy and you have had a seizure in the past year, not the drug just the seizure. I've been scanning tons on these sites because I was on lamictal not related to seizures. Got mixed info on prescribed but not for epilepsy. Gonna call my center tomorrow. Good luck

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  44. What is the matter with everybody? Do you guys not realize that people in desperate need receive these plasma transfusions? So you are really going to sit on this site and say that you lie about medications and things that will get you disqualified just so you can make a dollar. What if it was one of your family members that was getting that plasma transfusion that had medications or drugs in it and it harmed or killed that person. If you are taking something that disqualifies you from donating plasma there's a very good reason for it so please don't donate plasma.

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    Replies
    1. Plasma donations that are paid for are used for pharamceuticual research, and not given directly to patients. There is evidence of the reason why all over this page- people will conceal their medical history in order to get paid.

      https://www.statnews.com/2016/01/22/paid-plasma-not-blood/

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    2. Anonymous June 12th 2016. I completely agree with you. You should be honest so innocent people don't get hurt. I am in need of money right now that is why i am reading all of this so that way any meds I'm on that need to wait in order to donate i will do. I care too much about people and i would never wish anyone harm. My advice to anyone on here is be honest think of it as if you were the one receiving the donation into your body. All you have to do is stop the medication for the required amount of time before donating. And i believe i got my answer as well and i thank everyone on this site for that. I will quit my one medication for the 72 hours required and my other medication is safe and i will tell the donation center. I, once again, thank everyone for all the helpful information and have a happy thanksgiving and happy holidays as well.

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    3. Agreed... I'm in need of money myself to help pay for my back surgeries, but I wouldn't jeopardize another persons (especially a child or unborn childs life so I can get my surgery). Thank you for someone finally saying something about "lying" about what you take... this could seriously harm someone - even yourself!

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  45. Anyone know for certain if taking Xanax will disqualify you?

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  46. I just got disqualified for being on methadone. This was my first try to donate. Why???

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  47. I am prescribed one-a-day 30mg Embedda (time-release morphine) and Flexeril (for back issues), as well as Amitriptyline (for migraines).

    I've been told by non-official people that the morphine disqualifies me from donating. Is this true? Thank you.

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  48. You're NOT disqualified for being asthmatic. Please update.

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  49. What about wellbutrin and
    busprone???

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  50. Im interested in donating plasma, I have been on Methadone for year I take 1 dose daily. Am I unable to donate?

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  51. Im interested in donating plasma, I have been on Methadone for year I take 1 dose daily. Am I unable to donate?

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  52. Are you on liquid methadone for addiction or on methadone pills for pain??

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. Why do you have to be 110 pounds? I'm 5' 0' so a few pounds under 110 is normal and healthy for me. 110 pounds would be seriously unhealthy for someone 6' 0" but they can still donate?
    I don't get that.

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  54. I'm checking about Myrbetriq for OAB...can I still donate?

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  55. Can I donate if I take singular for my asthma I take a Norco for my back and I take Adderall because I'm ADHD helps keep me relaxed

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  56. Can i donate plasma if i take Tylenol 3?

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  57. I've been on Methadone maintenance for a couple yrs. Was at 80 mgs now down to 12.5 mgs. Does this stop me from donating?

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  58. A couple years ago I tested positive for TB but it was latent TB so I took all of the many months worth of medicine they gave me for it and have a certificate of completion. Does that disqualify me from donating plasma?

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  59. What if you take Norco on a regular basis, and can't go 3 days without your dosage? Are you banned? Also if you are on Celexa? Baclofen? And Neurontin?

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  60. What if you take Norco on a regular basis, and can't go 3 days without your dosage? Are you banned? Also if you are on Celexa? Baclofen? And Neurontin?

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  61. Hello, I am taking Cyclobenzaprine, mono-linyah (generic version of orthocyclin) and Adderall. Am I able to donate tomorrow?

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  62. Anyone know if allipurinol blocks you from donating? I don't see it on the list.

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  63. Could I still donate Plasma if I am on vyvanse (70 mg) and Risperidone (0.1 mg)?

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  64. Do they let u donate if you are prescribed Adderall ? I didn't see it on the list. What about type one diabetes on insulin and what about wellbutrin ? Thanks

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  65. I called and they said I can't donate because I am on at sesure meds? I don't get it have not had one I 3 years but Ned to be of the medication for 3 years before I can donate frustrating

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  66. Hi! Scheduled an appt. To donate plasma tomorrow, but can't find anywhere (and center told me to ask nurse when there) if you can donate while prescribed tramadol and a muscle relaxer (soma. Any info would be great. Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I have an inflammation that looks like a tennis ball on my elbow, and bursitis on my upper right arm. I am not taking no medicine at all. Can I donate plasma? Thanks.

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  68. I'm trying to find out if I can sell plasma while taking oxycodone ER (oxycontin) and oxycodone instant release. I also take a generic form of ritalin (methylphenidate er) , they refused to answer me when I called and I am not going to go in pain , burn gas, to be turned away. I am in WA south of SEattle. I was able to donate blood for free and they constant called me too. I can't waste what little resources I have to go in and be turned away, plus I am in major pain as it is. :(

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