Lumbar puncture...why fizzy drink?

Dear All,

Please advise. I have a lumbar puncture next week and have read that I should try to lie down afterwards?

I also remember reading that drinking fizzy drinks was a good idea, however, I cannot remember where I read it or why it was a good idea? Is it helpful to drink fizzy water since I don’t really do lemonade? (Maybe beer would be better!!)

Thank you and P.S. Is there anything else that I should know?


hi ali

it is a caffeine based drink that you should drink, hence coca cola.

i hate fizzy pop too but coffee would be tricky.

however i have recently discovered those iced coffee drinks in asda!

water is always good.

beer - nah.

why not gin and tonic! (kidding)

don’t forget the bendy straw

carole x

Hi Ali

yes as Carole has said, it’s the caffeine that will stave off the ‘headache from hell’ that some suffer following an LP.

Original Coco Cola (not diet or zero etc) is the most effective and easy to drink lying down using a bendy straw. A strong coffee works but is hard to drink with a straw and you’re more likely to end up wearing it.

And you really must insist in lying flat for a couple of hours after the procedure, I was an inpatient when I had mine and was wheeled to the LP room in a wheelchair. Had the LP and was told by the dr to stay flat. Then I was collected to go back to the ward, but the bed would not fit through the door, so I had to get up and walk into the corridor then lie flat on the bed. Total fiasco!

As for anything else you should know… hmmm, well try to stay relaxed I guess. You can’t prepare for it as such; most people find it’s not as bad as they expected. For the others - at least it’s not something you have to suffer too often. Hope you belong to the first group.

Good luck,


Definitely caffeine. And you might not get enough caffeine in an iced cappuccino type drink. Which is why everyone says full strength coke. I suspect the sugar may have an effect too, otherwise Diet Coke would do. Which isn’t what’s recommended.

But the lying down part is apparently what’s needed too.

Having said this, some people don’t follow this advice and don’t get the killer headache from hell.

The advice wasn’t around 20 years ago when I had one. And I didn’t do either or get the headache. Good luck Patience.


I had my lumbar puncture on 3rd October and I had a pretty bad headache for 4 days but it didn’t start right after the puncture but a few hours later. However, if I laid flat it went away. The nurses encouraged me to drink coffee and rest. I found I could be up and walk around for 45 min or so but then I had to lie down.

ha! as a total caffeine addict, it was the iced double espresso i was talking about!

i had to insist that i remained lying flat because they needed my bed.

a case of have my bed but you have to have my headache!

i managed one and a half hours then went home for a lie down (flat of course).

i didn’t get a headache but a few days later i had a strange episode which my gp put down to a reaction to having my CSF removed.

It’s only repeating what others have said.


The actual procedure is not painful; in fact, the only thing you feel is a scratch when the anaesthetic goes in. The actual removal of fluid is just a feeling of pressure if done properly. I must stress if done properly; do not let anyone practice on you insist on someone who is experienced.

It’s after you MAY get something called ‘the headache from hell.’ To cut down the chances of getting this you should lay flat for at least 3 hours do not even get up to go to the loo; use a pan. Drink at least 2 litres of classic Coke, not diet; it’s the caffeine that aids replenishment of your CNS fluid. Being your drinking a lot take one of those bendy straws otherwise the bed will get more Coke than you. If you want a change of drink very strong coffee.

These things will drastically reduce your chances of getting a headache that could last about 8 days. If you have a couple of days off work and rest if you do not get the headache, if you do 10 days off work.

If the headache lasts more than 10 days you could need a blood patch; especially if there’s a wet patch on the bed in the area of the spine after a nights sleep; this is rare.

Good luck.