Weight Loss Surgery - Medication Absorption

View Full Version : Medication Absorption

04-22-2003, 09:16 AM
Hi, I'm Debbie. I haven't been here for awhile but I learned something recently that I find really important to those of us who had bariatric surgery. I have been taking Synthroid for almost 12 years for auto-immune hypothyroidism and back in November my blood test came back horrible. Since then my dosage of Synthroid has been doubled and yet there wasn't any real improvement in my symptoms or blood work. Fortunately I have a friend who is in the medical field and when she found that her blood levels were bad too she decided to call the drug company that makes Synthroid and ask them about whether the medication can be absorbed by gastric bypass patients. They told her that it was made to breakdown in an acidic base such as stomach acid and that since we don't have acid in our pouches they don't think that it is absorbed well ...if at all. They also told her that crushing the pill,adding a bit of water and taking it that way would increasing absorption. She talked to her doctor and he told her that she could do that. I talked with my doctor and she agreed that I should try it and in the last week I notice my symptoms subsiding a bit. I will have a blood test done in 6 weeks to be sure.
Like it or not, weight loss surgery such as roux en y is basically an amputation of our digestive system. It's roots are based in the treatment of people with stomach cancer. I am sure that many medications are not absorbed at all by us. The drug company said that most of their medications need an acidic base to breakdown and that they are starting to have serious concerns about bariatric patients. When I had my surgery both my surgeon and family doctor told me not to worry because the pills would be absorbed. I don't think that they know a whole lot about it and about many other life long things that face us in the future. Many pills SHOULD NOT be crushed unless approved by your doctor but I just want everyone to be aware that we made not be absorbing everything that we have been told we are. Always ask your doctor or surgeon about medications. We all need to really put the pressure on our doctors and surgeons to learn more about bariatric post op life. There are many health problems that can arise in the years after surgery and we all need professionals that really know the facts and can help us.
I am sorry that this is so wordy ... that's probably why I don't post in forums often, I tend to go overboard in my explanations.

Take care, Debbie

04-22-2003, 12:16 PM
wow!!! thank you so much for this information! i'm also taking synthroid...

04-23-2003, 04:05 PM
Thank you for this information--very important even though I am once again on a low dosage of Synthroid (0.25 mg)--I am learning so much from you guys today!!!:cp: Keep the info coming!:D