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Medication and illnesses

Provided that you are fit and well you may be able to donate while taking regular medication.

Important information:


Please wait two weeks from recovery and at least 7 days after completing a course of antibiotics before giving blood. If you are taking antibiotics for a skin condition (e.g. acne) you may still be able to donate.

High blood pressure medication

You can donate while taking high blood pressure medication. If you have recently commenced high blood pressure medication or if your dose changes you have to wait at least 4 weeks before donating.


You can donate provided that you are symptom-free on the day.


You can donate while using oral or other contraceptive measures.

Pain killers

You should be able to donate after taking these medications. However, it is still important that you tell us about any medications that you have had in the few days prior to giving blood.

Iron supplements

You are unable to donate if you have been advised to take iron supplements by your doctor or nurse.

B12 injections

You can donate if your treatment for the vitamin B12 deficiency is completed, and are now just having maintenance injections every few months to prevent a recurrence.

Other prescribed medications

You will be unable to give blood while taking the following medications and for a variable length of time afterwards:

  • Finasteride (Proscar®, Propecia®) and Dutasteride (Avodart®)
  • Acitretin (Neotigason®) and Isotretinoin (Roaccutane®)
  • Anti-thyroid drugs (e.g. Carbimazole)
  • Drugs which suppress the immune system (e.g. Steroids, Methotrexate)
  • Sodium Valproate (Epilim, Episenta) and the related drugs valproic acid (Depakote, Convulex)

Non-prescribed and/or injected drugs

You must never give blood if you have ever injected or been injected with non-prescribed drugs; even if it was a long time ago or happened only once.

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