When we were with my grandma in the hospital one day a nurse came in to give her her medications (the one's she always takes) and my mom mentioned one of them (with a yellow coating) to the nurse, that is has to be crushed. The nurse was very surprised that this pill was being crushed, as apparently pills with coatings on them should never be crushed. She went on in quite detail as to why this is and was sure that the nurse from the prior day shift would not have crushed it either. My mom said she didn't know, but 5 years ago the doctor told them to start crushing it because the pill would go right through my grandma and come out in her colostomy bag (sorry, TMI!). They've just been crushing it and giving it to her with applesauce.
The nurse said she was going to go call the hospital pharmacist and see what he said and she came back and said he recommended them not crushed. My mom said she would check with grandma's doctor (which if course she forgot to do). Like I mentioned - this nurse was going on and on about this and why it shouldn't be done.
Fast forward to Sunday, while we are all at my mom's for Mother's Day. We are in the kitchen and she is getting my grandma's pills ready and getting out the crusher to crush her yellow pill. I ask her if she asked the doctor about it (no, she keeps forgetting), BUT, she tells me as she's pouring the crushed pill contents into a little bowl, "I've just been picking out as much of the yellow coating as I can before I put it in the applesauce"
OMG! I say "MOM! That's not what the nurse was talking about! It's not the COATING that is bad for her. Coated pills are time realeased into the system. Crushing them can cause all the medication to go into the system at once. That is what the nurse was concerned about!"
Goodness! So, I finally think my mom understands. I told her they've been crushing this pill for 5 years with no effects, so I'm sure it's ok, but just to make sure to first question this if they are ever told to do it on other medications. Then I sent her an email yesterday, before she took my grandma back to her caregiver's place, to be sure to tell her caregiver she doesn't need to spend a half hour picking out yellow coating from the crushed pill every day!