Can You Donate Plasma if You Take Painkillers? (Explained)

By | November 24, 2022
Can You Donate Plasma if You Take Painkillers

There has been a long debate on the effects of donating plasma while taking painkillers. While some experts argue that it is safe to donate plasma while taking pain relievers, others argue that there are certain pain killers that can cause harm to both the donor and the receiver if plasma is donated while taking them.

I have written this article to answer the question of whether can you donate plasma if you take painkillers. This is to guide you should in case you are tasked with donating plasma while on pain relievers.

Can You Donate Plasma if You Take Painkillers?

You cannot donate plasma while taking painkillers because they affect the function of blood platelets. However, plasma can be donated if you stop taking them 48 hours before. It is okay to take non-narcotic pain relievers like Paracetamol, Aleve, or OTC pain relievers if you want to donate plasma.

You may also like this article on How Much Does Immunotek Pay for Plasma Donation?

FDA Rules About Can You Donate Plasma if You Take Painkillers

Plasma Donation on Pain Killers

The following directives are to be strictly followed when you want to donate plasma:

  1. If you are taking painkillers for severe health issues, you can not donate plasma.
  2. Ensure you do not take any painkillers for at least 48 hours before donating plasma.
  3. If you are using narcotic painkillers or pain relievers that contain ibuprofen, avoid donating plasma until your system is free of it.
  4. You can donate plasma if you use non-narcotic or OTC pain relievers. However, do so after 24 hours of not taking them.

Is It Safe to Donate Plasma if You Take Painkillers?

Is It Safe to Donate Plasma if You Take Painkillers

Depending on the type of painkillers one is on, it might not be safe to donate plasma. When taking Painkillers that are narcotic or contain ibuprofen, it is advisable not to donate plasma as there are risks of life threatening issues. The plasma donated can also cause adverse reactions in the receiver.

What Are the Risks of Donating Plasma if You Take Painkillers

Some of the risks of donating plasma if you are taking painkillers (especially narcotic ones) are:

  • Slowed Down Blood Clotting: some painkillers contain ibuprofen which slows down blood clotting. This is risky because if the donor or receiver has an injury with ibuprofen in their bloodstream, the time of healing will be delayed putting them at risk of infections.
  • Severe Bleeding: the contents of some painkillers like advil may lead to over bleeding as a result of reduced blood clotting. This can be harmful to both the donor and receiver in case of injury occurrence.
  • Allergies: some individuals may be allergic to some components of certain painkillers which can lead to reactions ranging from mild to severe when they receive plasma from individuals on such painkillers.
  • Possible Heart Attack: ibuprofen contained in some painkillers can increase the risk of heart attacks or stroke in individuals with or without heart issues. When plasma is donated from an individual with ibuprofen in their bloodstream, it can have adverse effects on the heart condition of the receiver.
  • Over the counter painkillers like advil can inhibit plasma from working properly in the receiver’s body.
  • Kidney Damage Risk: In cases where the plasma receiver is under blood pressure medications, if the plasma donor is on painkillers containing motrin IB, it can cause permanent kidney damage to the receiver. 
  • Some painkillers have side effects like dizziness, vomiting, stomach pain, and so on. Donating plasma while on painkillers could increase the risk of these side effects which can be very dangerous.
  • Some painkillers like thalomid can cause skin rashes and low blood calcium levels which can be harmful to the health of the receiver.
  • Hair Loss: Aubagio is a painkiller with common side effect as hair loss. Donating plasma when taking this medication can cause hair thinning on the receiver considering he/she might have a lower immune system level at the time of receiving the plasma.

Painkillers that Do Not Have Adverse Effects on Plasma Donation

These painkillers do not have adverse effects on Plasma Donation:

  1. Paracetamol.
  2. Naproxen.
  3. Pregabalin. 
  4. Duloxetine.
  5. Panadol.

Painkillers that Can Affect Plasma Donation

Below is a list of painkillers that can have major effects on plasma donation:

  1. Thalomid.
  2. Erivedge.
  3. Odomzo.
  4. Aubagio.
  5. Rinvoq.
  6. Advil.
  7. Motrin IB.

Factors that Disqualifies You from Donating Plasma

Some qualities that can disqualify you  from donating plasma are stated below:

If you:

  • Are below age 17.
  • Weigh less than 100 to 110 pounds or being over weight.
  • Have health issues.
  • Have traveled out of the country in the last 28 days.
  • Have taken antibiotics in the last 72 hours before donation of plasma.
  • Are not free from dental procedures for at least 48 hours.
  • Have taken any aspirin or drugs containing aspirin like Feldene, anacin. And Excedrin in the last 48 hours.
  • Have lived outside the US for over 5 years.
  • Have tattoos. Except in cases where it was done in a state regulated facility.
  • Are a female donor who has had a life birth.
  • Have iron deficiency.
  • Have a medical condition.

Can I Donate Plasma if I Took Tylenol?

You can donate plasma if I took Tylenol because it is a non-narcotic paracetamol that does not affect your blood platelets.

Check out this post on Can You Donate Plasma if You Take Adderall.


Plasma donation can help in saving lives. However, it is important to make donations that won’t further harm the patient and follow the FDA rules.

So, if you are asking the question “Can you donate plasma if you take painkillers? Then the answer is: if under prolonged use of painkillers that are narcotic or contain ibuprofen, do not donate plasma. In other cases, ensure you do not take the painkillers for at least 48 hours before donating plasma.