Unusual urine color or tablets in stool can be normal for people taking medication and not a cause for alarm, a pharmacist said.
Drugs come in many forms and vary with pharmaceutical advances, such as sublingual tablets that introduce effects rapidly, coated tablets that ensure medication is released in the intestines and time-released tablets, Changhua Christian Hospital pharmacist Tsai Min-fang (蔡旻芳) wrote in an article published on April 2 in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).
Certain time-release tablets use specific coatings so that the medication slowly “seeps” through, giving it a steady and long-term effect, she said.
Ultimately, this coating is ejected from the human body along with excrement, which is why some people might see medication tablets in their waste, she said.
These include medications used to treat prostate hypertrophy, hypertension or cardiovascular diseases, she said.
She also said that medication processed by the human body could change the color of urochrome, the main chemical that affects the color of urine.
Tsai said that ingesting vitamin B often results in bright yellow urine, and urethritis drug phenazopyridine and rheumatoid arthritis medication sulfasalazine can turn urine orange.
Other medication, such as amitriptyline, used to treat depression and anxiety, and cimetidine, to treat digestive issues, could turn urine green, she added.
If a change in urine color is a result of medication, it would not be lasting and would revert to normal once the patient has stopped taking the medicine, she said.
People should not be alarmed when they see a change in the color of their urine and should instead pay attention to how they feel, Tsai said, adding they should also read carefully the directions and warnings provided with the medication.
If concerned, they should contact their doctor or pharmacist to verify that they are not experiencing complications from the medicine, she said.
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