How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Before your lumbar puncture, your doctor asks questions about your medical history, does a physical exam, and orders blood tests to check if you have any bleeding or clotting disorders. Your doctor may also recommend a CT scan to determine if you have any abnormal swelling in or around your brain.

Tell your doctor if you're taking blood-thinning or other anticoagulant medications. Examples include warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), clopidogrel (Plavix), and some over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). Also, tell your doctor if you're allergic to any medications, such as numbing medications (local anesthetics).

Dec. 06, 2014