Are Your Patients at Greater Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Post-op?

Are Your Patients at Greater Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Post-op?

Medications used during surgery could be putting your patients at risk and increasing your facility and practitioner liability.  Are you using Sugammadex (Bridion®) or Aprepitant (Emend®)?  If so, are you providing education on discharge to your female patients about the potential increased risk of pregnancy?

Surgery today is safer than it has ever been.  That said, there are still many risks that must be considered and require constant vigilance to ensure patient safety.  The use of medications during surgery, although necessary, comes with increased risks.  Although we sometimes do it without a formal process, each time a medication is used, a risk versus benefit assessment needs to take place.  Enlisting the services of an expert consultant pharmacist can help ensure that you have the proper systems in place to maximize patient safety and at the same time reduce facility and practitioner liability.

There are many ways a good consultant pharmacist can help your facility.  A couple of ways they can help is to provide expert guidance on safe medication management and regulatory compliance.  Sure, you can hire a pharmacist who moonlights as a consultant and comes in for an hour each month to quickly look at your expired medications, but is that what’s in the best interest of your patients, staff or facility?  Not even close!  A great consultant pharmacist is your partner and keeps you informed on best practices, survey standards and trends in medication information as well as ongoing survey patterns.

When it comes to the use of Sugammadex (Bridion®) or Aprepitant (Emend®), your pharmacist should advise you on the increased risk that occurs with the use of these medications. Both medications interact with hormonal birth control and can lower effectiveness.

How will the PACU nurse be aware when one of these medications were administered to ensure proper PostOp education? 

  1. For Aprepitant, we recommend the pre-op nurse place the handout in the chart along with the discharge information.
  2. For Sugammadex, either provide stickers or use a pre-printed form that allows anesthesia to document the use of the medication.

How will you communicate to patient when either of these medications are administered at your facility?

  1. For both medications, we recommend a patient handout that explains what the patient received during their time at your facility, examples of hormonal contraceptives, examples of backup birth control methods and a website for additional information.

Ensuring patient safety requires proper documentation and communication.  It’s important to also perform a complete medication reconciliation and provide education upon discharge.  If you have any questions, need additional guidance, or would like a sample form for patient education, please reach out and we can help.

The Consultant Pharmacists at OctariusRx provide guidance on safe medication management, survey readiness and cost savings to ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies We also help individual patients optimize their medications to improve their quality of life and save money. Contact us for assistance.


Any health, medical or drug information on the Web Site is for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to be used, and you should not use it, as a substitute for obtaining professional healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor, a pharmacist or other qualified healthcare provider for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment for any medical condition.
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