Can you donate blood if you take antidepressants? This is a fairly common question asked among blood donors, many of who are prescribed common antidepressants. The question is valid, as antidepressants can affect your blood. But can you still donate?
If you’re interested in having this question answered, then read on.
Why Would Antidepressants Prevent Me From Donating Blood?
As you may know, antidepressants work by going into your bloodstream. After you take your antidepressants, they are digested through your stomach. They are then passed into the bloodstream, where they then make their way to your brain.
In other words, when you’re taking antidepressants on a regular basis, you have molecules of antidepressant floating around in your blood. This naturally gives rise to the question as to whether or not you can donate blood if you take antidepressants.
While the quality of your blood might not actually be affected, the content of your blood is. Everyone has different things floating around in their blood, most often oxygen as well as vital nutrients and minerals.
However, if you’re taking antidepressants, then you also have chemical drugs floating around your bloodstream. Thus, these antidepressants would be passed on to whoever ends up receiving your blood.
Can You Donate Blood if You Take Antidepressants?
According to blood transfusion services around the world, it’s usually okay to donate blood if you’re on antidepressants. This is the standard in Europe, Africa, Australia, and North America.
Interestingly enough, most of these different blood donation services seem to imply that your current mental health is more of a factor than the medication that you’re taking. If you’re stable on your medication, then it’s okay to donate blood. If you’re severely depressed or if your treatment isn’t working, then it’s not.
Can I Use Other Medications and Donate Blood?
According to GoodRX, there are a few medications that might prevent you from being able to donate blood. These medications include:
- Acne medication. Many acne medicines, especially those that affect isotretinoin, aren’t acceptable. These medications can cause birth defects.
- Finasteride and dutasteride. These are two medications that can affect testosterone. Both of them are known to cause birth defects and should be avoided if you’re wanting to donate blood.
- Soriatane. This is a medication for psoriasis. If you have used the medicine within the last 3 years, you won’t be allowed to donate blood.
- Antiplatelet medications. If you are hoping to donate blood platelets, you can’t be taking any of these medications. Prescription meds like Plavix, Effient, and Brilinta, as well as common OTC meds like aspirin, prevent you from donating platelets.
- Blood thinners. You must wait at least 2 weeks after taking blood thinners before donating blood.
Your best bet is to talk to the staff at the donation facility. They will let you know whether or not you can donate.
Can you donate blood if you take antidepressants? In most cases, yes. The best way to know for sure is to talk to the staff at the blood donation center. If you’re hoping to stop taking antidepressants, consider using a service like Surviving Antidepressants.