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Old 09-19-2007, 02:48 PM   #1
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Exclamation Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Hi Everyone,

I have written about this before, but this has gotten out of hand. I take Oxycontin, and I have some sort of stomach problem. Since last Friday....yes LAST Friday after only about 6 hours, I have to use the bathroom. I have loose stools and there is my pill! This has happened before, but I have two meds that I can usually take to help it. I take Lomotil (for diharrea), and Levsin (for stomach spasms).

My problem now is that this has been constant! I have taken the stomach meds and cannot get this to stop. I am in so much pain most of the time, due to my medication not being absorbed. I called my stomach doctor Monday and never heard back. Today I called and asked for an emergency appointment tomorrow morning.

One of the problems is that I have talked to the nurse practitioner at the pain center about this before. (This will usually happen for a day or two before I can get in under control). All they told me, after the looked at me like I was crazy, they told me that it was my stomach doctor's problem, not their's. Meanwhile, the stomach doctor stated that I would need to take more of the break-thru med until it clears up. Obviously, the pain doctor did not agree and wrote me, and my issue, off.

Any suggestions???? I really need some help with this. It does not seem like many others have had this issue, so I already feel like they think I am making this up for an excuse for extra meds. Can someone help please???

Thanks Everyone,

Amanda

 
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:22 PM   #2
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Is this a long acting med? Because I know I have read posts on a 'ghost pill' appearing in the toilet that leaves people scratching their heads. But in fact it is only the shell of the pill. anyone else remember this that can help out?

 
Old 09-19-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

This is a long-acting med, and I talked to the pharmacy about it. They said that the "ghost pill" is simply a shell. This is a pill, not just a hollow shell. When it first happened, they said ghost pill. However, one day I used a Q Tip to press on it, and it is filled with a white substance. I don't know what to do. I also know it's not a shell because my pain levels are so bad when this happens. I often don't know why my pain is so bad (I just assume it's a bad day), then I will see it in the toilet and it all makes sense.

Last edited by butrfligirl28; 09-19-2007 at 03:35 PM.

 
Old 09-19-2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Can you ask the doctor to call you in some immoduim or something? The problem is is that the only thing that really works for over active bowels is opiates, even over the counter immoduim has a strong opiate in it, but theres also something in it to block you from feeling the opiate effect.
In otherwords, your pain meds SHOULD be ending the trouble. Have you tried taking your breakthrough meds, waiting an hour, and then taking the long acting? that might work.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you, I have 'lost' pain meds by throwing up, and it's not only no fun to be sick, its hard to flush meds you know wont be replaced.

Good luck, Im sure others will reply with more help.
~Fabby

 
Old 09-19-2007, 05:45 PM   #5
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Definitely have your "stomach" doctor whom I assume is a Gastroenterologist and see what he/she says--Concerning the PM doctor, I would ask for the Duragesic Patch until they figure out what is happening and maybe change meds or something--Just a thought--At least the medicine would get in your system--I honestly have trouble seeing how an entire pill can go through the entire intestinal track and end up in your stool--But, then again, I have seen it happen with corn! (grin) Let us know as I am sure many of us are curious and concerned for you too. Roger

 
Old 09-19-2007, 06:52 PM   #6
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Thanks Everyone,

Fabby, the Lomotil is actually a prescription med for diharrea, stronger than Immodium. The Levsin is also a prescription med for diharrea and cramping. I don't know how this happens, but I see food I have eaten as well. If I have a bagel with seasame seeds, I can see the seeds as soon as four to six hours later when this happens. Also, Saturday night I ate grape tomatoes. In the middle of the night, I had diharrea and there was the tomatoe peels. I know this isn't normal. I just don't know what to do about it, or what could be causing it.

Thanks for all your replies! I need all the ideas I can get!

Amanda

 
Old 09-20-2007, 04:59 AM   #7
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

hey B fly,just so you know,that 'filler stuff' that is inside that pill when you crush it is NOT the actual medication,it IS all part of the actual wax matrix that the tiny little beads that ARE what the oxy is in holds.it is called 'wax' but i am not too certain just what it actually is,but what you are passing IS totally completely normal,really.the active med is contained in tiny little beads,very tiny ones,that are set into this matrix(it has some sort of honeycomb type design from what i was told) and dissovle out of it over time.believe me,i went thru this too when i started oxycontin.i called my PM and at my next visit she actually explained this all to me.i too thought my liver and kidneys were not working properly since i do have disease in both organs,scared the heck outta me there for awhile.my PMs nurse assured me over the phone that day when i called that these were just the wax matrix's left behind from the release of the entire contents.really,no biggie there.if you are getting more pain than normal,it just could be becasue of the stress over this issue ya know?but what you are seeing is the very same thing all of us who i know are on the perdue brand see all the time.they don't even change the color either,thats what kinda freaked me out the first time i saw them in my stools.it just looked the pill was bascially untouched except it looked a bit 'beaten up'.but the med,the actual oxy part of this,like i said,is a bunch of very tiny white little "beads" of the med,not the pill itself.the matrix just holds them til they dissolve out.i cannot imagine the people who snort this crap if they actually realize just what it is they are actually "snorting"its alot of extra crap with a very small amount of the actual active oxy.eww.

the one big thing i noticed when i was switched to the endo version of OC was that with this med,the whole entire pill actually dissolves which could have explained the severe nausea and headache i kept getting,not to mention it just cannot possibly even be the full amount of oxy contained that it is supposed to be the 'equivalent of.no way was this stuff even the same as the name brand.

honestly b fly,i do think everything is really okay with what you are seeing and getting.tho i do know for certain that the endo dissolves completely with nothing left behind,i am not too certain about any of the other generic ones.but perdues does exactly what is occuring with you.i am a bit suprised that your docs are not aware of this?this is not an actual 'shell' it is what looks like the actual pill itself(still solid but able to crush it(it is saturated with moisture inside) with the end of a butter knife or some other solid object.it has alot of 'give' where a regular pill wouldn't do this) with possibly even the color still there,but it is normal.i do hope this has eased your mind some.i DO have the very same thing going on too.marcia
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Have you been checked for Celiac disease? It's a gluten intolerance that damages the villi in your intestines and prevents nutrition and other elements from passing from the gut into the bloodstream. This gluten is found in wheat (bagels), barley (beer), many other oats and grains, vinegar, malt - you name it. Luckily I was on the patch at the time and using the fentanyl lozenge for breakthrough pain so my meds were getting absorbed properly into the bloodstream.

If you do have Celiac disease then you'll have difficulty absorbing anything via the intestines. Look it up online and if the symptoms match yours you might want to check it out.

steve

 
Old 09-20-2007, 09:14 AM   #9
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Well I am back from the gastro doc. He states that it is not normal for me to have this bad of diharrea when on these pain meds anyway. He did state that if I take the pill at 6am, then see it at noon, I am obviously not getting the full effect of the medication. This males sense because I often don't know it's happening.....just having a bad pain day then I use the bathroom, and voila! He started me on two meds stronger that the tummy meds I am on.

He stated that I must have gotten anti-biotics in the hospital, after my surgery. He said that I could have an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. However, he also stated that the Omendum??? the muscle lining over your bowels, is very damaged. This could lead to scarring trapping stool in the small bowel, then going into overdrive to get it out.

I knew my stomach was messed up. After 6 surgeries in my abdomen alone, it's no wonder that I have chronic pain there.

Thanks Everyone.....I hope this helps. He said if it doesn't, then we will have to investigate further because this is "not normal." Duh

Amanda

 
Old 09-21-2007, 01:36 AM   #10
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Butrfligirl28,

I have also had several abdominal surgeries and 1 laparoscopic. I have severe problems, same as you. I also saw the food and the ghost pills, but trust me, they are empty, they can stay in your system 1 hour and still work completely.

I was also on the Lotromin for Diarrhea and it did nothing, even taking several at once, However, the OC Immodium DOES work. My Doctor knows that at one time I was taking a box of 48 a week, and said if it worked it would be fine, as long as it doesn't cause constipation, which it didn't, but I was semi-normal.

The narcotics didn't always stop the diarrhea for me either. However I am on the Fentanyl patch and I no longer have to take the immodium. It works great, on pain and Diarrhea. One patch, no problems.

I can eat and either within seconds or minutes, can be in severe abdominal pain and doesn't stop without vomiting or Diarrhea. I finally ended up at Shands and after all these years, they found that with so many Abdominal Surgeries, the intestines are not anatomical anymore, in other words, my insides have there own road map now. THe Colonoscopy had to be done in the OR with a Pediatric Scope under heavy General Anesthesia due to this.

But at least they found one of the kinks has a 80% Blockage.

A blockage doesn't mean you won't have diarrhea, it means the blockage can't get though, so your body accumulates enough water to cause severe Diarrhea until the Blockage is corrected.

I had a breath test that tells if the good bacteria is ok or if you have SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).
Even though mine came back negative, I am on Antibiotics for one week each month until December, if the problem is still there, they will have to do surgery to remove it.
But with so many surgeries that could also mean losing the intestines and having a bag for the rest of my life.

You really have to decide if the Diarrhea is annoying or if there is severe pain. I went an entire month with no food, due to pain. My Grandson gave me 1 M&M and I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I ate it, then I was in severe pain again.

The kind of pain that causes you to pass out.

So due to your history, Is the Diarrhea bothering you most or the pain from the abdomen?

Immodium, no matter how much is approved to take is better than the prescription one, even my Doctor agree's. And from experimenting, the Immodium + Gas doesn't work for people like us, neither does the liquid.
Try buying ONLY the regular blue capsule shaped tablets. Believe it or not, It's the strongest. Even the new Chewables don't work.

The Immodium I suggested and look up SIBO online and maybe you can find a Doctor who will run the test, BUt as I said. In my case it was negative, but doesn't mean I don't have it.

As I mentioned before, since going on the Fentanyl Patch, things are better and I know I am getting the medication from my PM.

I am guessing yours began with multiple Abdominal Surgeries like mine did. And is usually caused by adhesions.

I hope this helps,
Stardust

 
Old 09-21-2007, 05:24 AM   #11
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Thanks Star,

Yes, I am sure some of this is due to all my abdominal surgeries. I know that my anatomy is abnormal now as well. I am convinced however, that this is effecting the medication. First, there is a sharo increase in pain, even when I don't know it is happening until later. Secondly, the manufacturer states that the pill releases it's first dose at one hour, and the second at six hours. If the pill is already in the toilet at six hours, obviously it was unable to release the second dose.

As far as the pain goes, it can be mild, or very severe. I know what you are talking about when you say that you have pain that makes you feel like you are going to pass out. I also get sweaty and nauseous too. I have urgency, and have had to stop at many fast food bathrooms because I couldn't make it home. It stinks and I hope they find a solution. Thanks for the info on the Immodium. I have actually never tried it because I assumed the prescription med worked better. I will get some and try it.

One of my last surgeries was an emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction. I read that once you have one obstruction, your chances of another are very high. I hope it is not adhesions and blockages causing this. Eventually, it may not resolve itself.

Again, thank you for your post! I really appreciate you taking the time to give me some feedback and good advice!

Your Friend,

Amanda

 
Old 09-21-2007, 05:31 AM   #12
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Amanda, is there any chance you could get a new primary care doctor? You have had so many problems, and each time it has been up to you to convince them that you really need help, I worry you may be too ill at some point, and you need someone that is co-ordinating your care and advocating for you when you cant advocate for yourself.

Some PC docs are intimidated by the specialists and wont presume to tell them anything, but you have to have someone who is firmly in your corner and also a member of the medical community.

If I were you, I would keep looking until I found the right doctor for that job.

Take Care, Fabby

 
Old 09-21-2007, 06:14 AM   #13
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Thanks Fabby!

You are such an asset to this board, and I am so appreciative of your posts! I have a great GP, but I know he feels like his hands are tied, especially when it comes to my pain doctor. He knows all the issues I have had with them, and all he can do is shake his head and tell me to hang in there. I know he is not comfortable taking over my pain meds, or I feel like he would have offered by now.

He does advocate for me however, and has been a go between before between me and the pain doc, and even helped when I was in the ER last year. The ER doc did not want to give me more pain medication, as I had had a few doses, but due to my tolernance, I was still in a lot of pain. My GP called to check on me and when the ER doc discussed that he thought I had had enough pain meds, and didn't need anymore, even with the severe pain I was still in, my GP disagreed and asked him to give me another dosage. It's wonderful to have a doctor who believes you, and stands up for you. I need that, especially with the terrible health and chronic pain I have had. It has been one thing after another, and it can be exhausting.

Thanks again Fabby! I will talk to him about this gastro doc if things don't get better soon. Have a great day my friend.

Your Friend,

Amanda

 
Old 09-21-2007, 06:28 AM   #14
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

Amanda -

I have dealt with abdominal adhesions and they are extremely painful. In my case, my intestines adhered to the abdominal cavity so they lost the mobility they need to push the - ya know - thru the digestive system.

They ended up having to do another abdominal surgery to slice the two apart. My surgeon took 7 1/2 hours to do my surgery. He literally scraped the entire abdominal cavity while he was in removing all of the scarring from surgery due to a severe case of endometrosis. I remember waking up and the surgeon looking down at me and said, dear I don't know how you made it for as long as you did. You were a disaster but you will do fine now. I had this done in 1995 and have not had any problems since.

I am telling you this not to scare you but merely to suggest that this may be your problem.

 
Old 09-21-2007, 06:44 AM   #15
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Re: Might as well flush the pills......they go there anyway!!

i agree with you B fly,if that very same pill you took is actually the one that shows up within and hour or so,you definitely are not getting the full benefits from it,it wouldn't be possibile.it would just have to be in you for a minimum of the six hours in order for you to obtain the full release of the contents.thats just the way it is built.getting shorter acting meds temporarily would realistically be the only true way you could handle this for now anyways.you just need something that works faster before it passes thru the GI tract.once they get your GI back on track you could switch back.i too am very lucky to have a really great primary doc who i know understands the "whole" me and why i am dealing with what i am.that,to me means the world.it sure does help when you can feel supported by your doc.hope things get back to normal soon for you.Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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