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, others) or naproxen (Aleve). Also, tell your doctor if you're allergic to any medications, such as numbing medications (local anesthetics).
Mar. 20, 2012
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- Lumbar puncture (Taking a sample of fluid from around the spinal cord). American Thoracic Society. http://www.thoracic.org/clinical/critical-care/patient-information/icu-devices-and-procedures/lumbar-puncture-taking-a-sample-of-fluid-from-around-the-spinal-cord.php. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Lavi R, et al. Lumbar puncture: It's time to change the needle. European Neurology. 2010;64:108.
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- Swanson JW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 14, 2011.