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A 30-year-old female asked:

Going for breat lift surgery tomorrow at 12pm. i have to take my birth control pill with a sip of water. obviously i'm on npo for general anesthetic, can i take my pill at 9am with a sip of water?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Henning
Anesthesiology 51 years experience
4 AM to be safe...: Npo guidelines for general anesthesia haven't changed much in the last few years. But, 6-8 hours is definitely sufficient for taking a pill with just a sip of h20. Don't worry and...Don't worry!
Dr. Norman Cohen
Anesthesiology 37 years experience
Should be fine: The current guidelines allow clear liquids like water up to 2 hours before surgery, full liquids up to 6 hours before surgery and 8h or more for regular meals. We still use the nothing after midnight rule to assure that first cases will not be unreasonably delayed and to allow for moving up later cases to an earlier time if cases cancel. Bottom line, you pill with a sip of water is just fine.
Dr. Gary Ritholz
Anesthesiology 31 years experience
Yes: Traditionally it was held that patients should be "npo" eight hours. But more recent studies show that up to 4 oz of water is probably ok upto two hrs before surgery.
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology 40 years experience
Yes: The rules keep changing but one can always take their medication on the morning of surgery and if you really do need to have some fluids the day of surgery in order to stay hydrated and not get dizzy, its perfectly alright to drink clear fluids (water, gatorade, apple juice) up to 2 hrs before.

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