Digging in Poop

Now I realize that people do strange things with their medications: flushing it down the toliet, dump it in the sink, vacumning it up, etc.
But there is one thing that I cant wrap my mind around: Digging in their poop for it. Now even I like to admire what comes out of my ass once in a while, but it stays behind the safety fluid before riding the final whirlpool to its destiny. Some people however are more “hands on”.
I shit you not (har har)! I get calls about people complaning that their extended release medication “isnt working” because “they found their pill in their poop”. Is this like an easter egg hunt? Do people feverishly dig in their poop looking for stuff like gold coins and pirate treasure? Its shit, let it go.
Of course we all know that most extended release formulations of potassium, morphine, etc will indeed leave an intact (yet empty) tablet in the ole poop, but try explaining this to a psychotic patient who digs through his/her own poop (heres a tip: you’ll have a better chance reasoning to the turd than the patient).
Then you have the truly sick. The people who not only dig through their poop, but save what they have found in their poop and bring it in to show you. We even had one patient take that poop-ahoy tablet and swallow it again! In fact, we even had one patient go through his/her mothers poop! What the hell is up with that?
So please, take our word for it when we say that you’ll find tablets in your poop. If you do indeed still wish to dig through your brown babies, then please call in your Rx and dont touch anything while you’re here.

15 thoughts on “Digging in Poop”

  1. eww.. can’t imagine them finding in the poop and eating it again!! that’s sick!
    anyway, i read in my lecture notes that the potassium sustained release osmotic pump design tablets have higher tendency to cause gastric ulceration. Cos the outlet of the osmotic cell may end up upside-down in the GI tract, releasing much higher local concentration of chlorides on the tract walls, thus inflammation and ulceration.
    i love reading your posts!
    – from: singapore pharmacy student

  2. OMG this blog is so funny because it’s true!!!! I’ve been on a mat leave for a year (yes we get one year paid in Canada) 🙂 but am a Canadian pharmacist and all these stories bring it all back! Most things are pretty similar for patients here too.
    Haven’t read through all the posts yet, but guaranteed I am bookmarking it to see them all.
    Here, the people on welfare have to pay $2 for the first 3 prescriptions each month (which they get back on next month’s cheque)…and almost every single time, they “don’t have the money but REALLY REALLY NEED the meds” (nevermind that they just bought 2 cartons of cigarettes at the front till). Don’t you love people???
    Keep up the rant, I’ll keep up reading 🙂

  3. Bwahahahah – I guess that’s why package inserts say things like this:
    “The WELLBUTRIN XL tablet is covered by a shell that slowly releases the medicine inside
    your body. You may notice something in your stool that looks like a tablet. This is normal.
    This is the empty shell passing from your body.”
    We need warnings for everything these days.

  4. You owe me a new monitor! Coffee and cream dripping everywhere. Working in an ER, I’ve had to deal with this type of insanity. How you don’t help yourself to a few tranqs of choice is beyond me.
    I tell folks at work, “Monkeys have more sense.” Thanks for proving me right.

  5. Why does my husband’s revlimid have to cost $10,000/month??? he is being raped by you ANGRY pharmacists and his greedy ass oncologists……we have to lsoe everything because he has a job, is responsible, has SORRY ASS insurance, and was forward thinking enough to purchase a home and land, and have a savings account. now he has multiple myeloma, and in addition to paying YOU GUYS all this money,he is going to die at the end of evrything anyway. TELL EM WHAT JUSTIFIES THIS GROSS FINANCIAL RAPING OF A DYING MAN??:?
    One Pissed OFF Wife

  6. Pissed Off Wife –
    Don’t get mad at the middle man! Why don’t you ask your friendly insurance company why his revlimid costs $10,000/month? It’s not the pharmacist’s fault you have crappy insurance. Yes, you’re mad, but why don’t you focus your anger on the people who are ACTUALLY to blame. You think your pharmacist is pocketing your $10,000/month? Think again. Kinda sad you are lashing out at innocent parties who have no control over how much you pay per month. One positive, better to be pissed off than pissed on.

  7. I for one am glad I saw this site. I have been getting more anxious everytime I see one of those tablets in my poop. I couldn’t understand what it was. Now I am relieved.

  8. Just found the offending angry “ghost pill” of extended release potassium chloride last night… and NO I was NOT digging in poop, eewwwww! There it was, just floating there! I almost took another, then thought of asking my Dr (can imagine the reply, omg), but instead turned to Dr Google, and learned this is a “Thing”! :O Totally shocking, but totally anxiety relieving. Noooo can’t believe those psycho folks go digging around and as if that was not bad enough, to “recycle” said recovered meds! Lol eewww thanks for bringing the funny to something gross!

  9. Here is the thing…in that so called “empty shell” there is still medication. A lot of people pass the medication in their bowl movement before that 24 hour extended release tablet has released all the medication. I speak from experience and yes I put gloves on and removed the “shell” from my stole and popped the shell open and guess what? More than half of the medication was still in the pill. And you’re thinking what lead me to do this? Because I actually did read the insert that said it’s a 24 hour release tablet and that you may see the “empty shell” in your stool. Well it had never been 24 hours or even close to it before I would pass the “empty shell” in my shell. So I’m actuallality you guys including the one who wrote this article are the idiots not the ones who actually figured out that the patients using the extended release isn’t getting all the medication from the pill which it why their depression isn’t getting any better.

    1. YES. Thank you. Same experience here. No wonder it hasn’t felt like my wellbutrin xr has worked in months. The more depressed and anxious I get, the more I have upset stomach, the more i pass the tablet (definitely not EMPTY) in diarrhea sooner and sooner after taking it, therefore the worse i feel, and the cycle gets worse and worse.

    2. Thank you, cause I was starting to think I was crazy! For the last 4 days I have seen my Welbutrin 300 XL tabs in the toilet only 4 hours after taking them. I even tried taking them much earlier in the morning. It happened again today and I did put on gloves and check it. It was completely intact and hard, I have IBS and no gallbladder so I am assuming this is why it’s happening. A long time ago I even changed all my vitamins to liquid or chewables because I had found them. When I was on 150 mg of Welbutrin I was feeling better and now the last couple of weeks not so much. Not sure where to go from here…..maybe I will try taking the coating off since I really don’t want to deal with the flack from my doctor….IDK, now at least I understand why I am not feeling as well as I was.

  10. You want to know why people dig through poo and share the experience with drs and pharmacists? Madness, you nailed it. Because when you’re dealing with chronic pain it can drive you to do things you’d never dream of. Everyone thinks you’re just a junkie. Imagine if you were on fire, the FD shows up and sprays you with a squirt gun, but doesn’t believe you when you tell them that it isn’t working. You’d go a little crazy too. Don’t forget that you’re friends and family didn’t think the fire was that hot, or the 911 operator decided you just wanted to meet some firemen. Try it out a while. See how long before you’re willing to do “crazy” things to put out the fire, or even just get everyone to believe you, even just a little. Morphabond er, pooped out yesterday’s dose both still completely intact and hard as a rock. Squirt gun isn’t just not working, missed altogether. Things I do to try to get anyone to believe me.

    1. Great analogy. I hope you’ve since gotten the relief you need. It sucks to be treated like a “crazy” when you’re just asking for help.

  11. Listen…jackass-cuz that is what I get to call you when you guys call us psychotic for finding medication in our poop-first of all, you have clearly never been to Germany where shit is a venerated science on its own. Such that, up until toilets started being made for cents on the Euro in China, had a shitshelf in the bowl to see your work before flushed. That said? that ghost pill fucking floats which makes sense given its bio-physiological properties and intent. Am I right?

    So, although people may indulge in fecal treasure hunts (and what people do in private? I don’t judge), this is most probably not the case here. So angry pharmacist, medicate thyself and maybe ghost a few psychopharmalogicals yourself.

    Angry Depressive searching for answers as to why my Wellebutrin was pre-flush floating. btw-that really cannot be an ecologically sound delivery system.

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