A Dutch Survey on Medication Adjustments after Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: Experiences of Bariatric Surgeons, Internists, Pharmacists, and General Practitioners

Obes Surg. 2024 May;34(5):1778-1785. doi: 10.1007/s11695-024-07197-2. Epub 2024 Apr 2.


Background: As metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) can alter the pharmacokinetics of drugs, post-bariatric surgery patients may require medication adjustments and monitoring. To improve pharmacotherapy in these patients, we aimed to understand the beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and concerns of healthcare professionals who treat these patients.

Methods: A survey by means of an online questionnaire was divided into six sections. It was sent to bariatric surgeons, internists, pharmacists, and general practitioners in the Netherlands.

Results: Out of 229 returned surveys, 222 were included. Virtually all respondents (98%) expected MBS to influence the effect of medication. Both reduced efficacy (23%) and more adverse events or medication-related complications (21%) were recognized. Two-thirds of the respondents felt competent to prescribe or to provide advice regarding medication in post-bariatric surgery patients. Most of the respondents (95%) believed that other healthcare professionals should be aware of the contraindication "bariatric surgery". Of the respondents, 37% indicated that they were not aware of the medication advice incorporated in the electronic health record systems. Almost half of the respondents (48%) indicated that they documented changes in drug effects. Most respondents answered that these ought to be registered in the pharmacovigilance database or national registry.

Conclusions: The majority of prescribers and pharmacists believe that patients will receive better pharmacotherapy if healthcare professionals take MBS into account. However, not all prescribers think they are competent to act adequately. To improve this, information on changed drug effects after MBS should be more widely shared among healthcare professionals via resources that are easily accessible.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Clinical practice; Medication; Pharmacovigilance.

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • General Practitioners*
  • Humans
  • Obesity, Morbid* / surgery
  • Pharmacists
  • Surgeons*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires