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.