Impact of chronic medications in the perioperative period -anesthetic implications (Part II)

Postgrad Med. 2021 Nov;133(8):920-938. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2021.1982298. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Background: This review article discusses the pharmacodynamic effects of the most commonly used chronic medications by patients undergoing elective surgical procedures, namely cardiovascular drugs (e.g., beta blockers, alpha-2 agonist, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, etc.), lipid-lowering drugs, gastrointestinal medications (H2-blockers, proton pump inhibitors), pulmonary medications (inhaled β-agonists, anticholinergics,), antibiotics (tetracyclines, clindamycin and macrolide, linezolid.), opioids and non-opioids analgesics (NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors, acetaminophen), gabapentanoids, erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs, psychotropic drugs (tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs], monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOI], selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs], serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors [SNRIs], and cannabinol-containing drugs). In addition, the potential adverse drug-interactions between these chronic medications and commonly used anesthetic drugs during the perioperative period will be reviewed. Finally, recommendations regarding the management of chronic medications during the preoperative period will be provided.Materials and Methods: An online search was conducted from January 2000 through February 2021 with the Medline database through PubMed and Google Scholar using the following search terms/keywords: "chronic medications in the perioperative period", and "chronic medications and anesthetic implications." In addition, we searched for anesthetic side effects associated with the major drug groups.Results and Conclusions: An understanding of the pharmacodynamic effects of most used chronic medications is important to avoid untoward outcomes in the perioperative period. These drug interactions may result in altered efficacy and toxicity of the anesthetic medications administered during surgery. These drug-drug interactions can also affect the morbidity, mortality, recovery time of surgical patients and acute relapse of chronic illnesses which could lead to last minute cancellation of surgical procedures. Part II of this two-part review article focuses on the reported interactions between most commonly taken chronic medications by surgical patients and anesthetic and analgesic drugs, as well as recommendations regarding the handling these chronic medications during the perioperative period.

Keywords: Chronic medications; interactions with anesthetic drugs; peri-perioperative period; pharmacodynamics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics / adverse effects*
  • Chronic Disease / drug therapy*
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Perioperative Period*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • United States


  • Anesthetics
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations