Massage, medications and interactions/New Zealand

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This page contains information relating to New Zealand medication and their interactions with massage therapy in New Zealand. The page has been created by students of the Otago Polytechnic Massage Therapy programmes. There is no guarantee as to the accuracy of the information on this page.

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Medications in Alphabetical order


Actions: Has a antihypertensive effect.

Implications for massage (Premkumar, 2000)

  • Clients prone to postural hypotension
  • Ensure client is well supported when getting off the table


Actions: Anti-depressant (

Implications for massage (Premkumar, 2000)

  • Hypotension
  • Dizziness


Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Tablets

Efexor tablets are used in the treatment and prevention of depression.

Action: Anti-depressant - Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRIs) (

Implications for massage

  • Increased chance of postural hypotension and dizziness when the client gets off the table (Premkumar, 2000).
  • Reduced feedback from the client due to sedative effects. (Premkumar, 2000)
  • Possible side-effects (more are shown on the medication datasheet) - if the client shows signs of these refer the client to their doctor.
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle tremors, spasms, twitching, jerky movements or sustained muscle contractions
  • A feeling of apathy or not caring about things
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Unusually overactive.
  • Sweating
  • Hot flushes


Actions: Antimetabolite (inhibiting cell division of skin...etc)

Implications for massage: N/A


Actions: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic (

Implications for massage (Premkumar, 2000)

  • Impaired pain perception
  • Hypersensitivity, e.g. asthma, swelling.
  • Impaired immunity
  • Impaired soft-tissue healing


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Plaquenil may be used for any of the following conditions:

Rheumatoid arthritis/Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE)/Discoid Lupus Erythematous (DLE)/Malaria (treatment and control of symptoms) Can cause: Visual disturbances Any hearing loss Frequent fevers, severe chills, bruising, sore throat or mouth ulcers (these may be signs of blood reactions) Nausea Vomiting Diarrhoea Abdominal cramps Muscle weakness Dizziness Ringing in the ears Headache Nervousness Skin rash Hair loss


Actions: Anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressant and mineralcorticoid (

Implications for massage (Premkumar, 2000)

  • Postural hypotension - lightheadedness, and possible fainting when getting up off the table
  • Impaired immunity
  • Impaired soft-tissue healing
  • Osteoporosis
  • Possible psychological effects such as euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes and severe depression


  • Derrett, C., 2009
  • Grinlinton, T., 2008
  • McQuillan, D., 2008, 2009


Premkumar, K. (2000). Pathology A to Z – A handbook for massage therapists (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.