Why Do My Pills Come Out Whole in My Poop

There are times when you take a look at the toilet after stooling and see a pill or tablet that is slightly digested.


This can make you wonder if something is wrong with you or your digestion or if the medicine is working the way it should.

However, the short answer to the question, ”Why do my pills come out whole in my poop” could be a result of indigestion, but the fact that an undigested drug is seen in your stool does not mean something is wrong with you.

In this article, you will learn the possible causes of this and what your doctor or health provider has to say about it. 

Medications and Digestion 

Common concerns about long-acting medications, slow-release, or long-term medications are that a ghost tablet or capsule may appear in your poop.


The ghost tablet contains only the outer shell of the pill with no active ingredients. If this happens, the person may be worried the medication did not break down and did not work.

Getting a pill in a chair is quite common in long-acting medicines. In a recent study, more than half of people taking long-acting forms of diabetes Metformin reported seeing ghost pills in their poop.

Extended-release products act as a small pump as they pass through the GI tract, slowly releasing the drugs within the tablet shell over time. The outer shell is then removed when you release it.

Oral medications can affect the digestive system in different ways. While generally safe and effective, prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause serious side effects for some people.

Certain drugs taken together may interact and cause serious side effects or indigestion. Additionally, your doctor needs to be aware of any allergies, sensitivities, and other medical conditions you may have before taking new pills.


People with food intolerances, such as gluten intolerance, should make sure that medications do not contain additives.

Why Do My Pills Come Out Whole in My Poop

Problem of Absorption 

In most cases, gastrointestinal motility problems may prevent the medication from being absorbed and digested properly. 

Motility is defined as the contraction of the muscles that move food and other substances into the gut.

If the approach, also known as rapid dysmotility, is too fast, the tablet or capsule may pass through the digestive tract slightly digested or not digested, resulting in why it comes out in your poop. 

Some Factors Could Lead to This and They Include;

  • Diarrhea
  • Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
  • Food intolerance
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Celiac Disease (CD)

Some Types of Medications

Some conditions, such as celiac disease, also cause malabsorption, where the intestines cannot absorb nutrients.

As you know, if you do not take your medicine properly, you are more likely to get malnutrition.

Drugs may leave the body undigested if the intestines contract faster than normal. When this happens, the nutrients and drugs may pass through the digestive tract without being absorbed or digested. 

Improper Use of Medication 

While it is unlikely that taking the wrong drugs can cause it to be undigested, it is possible.

Drugs work correctly and should be taken as prescribed to ensure they are broken and absorbed as they should be to avoid complications.

Certain medications cannot be taken together because of interactions that increase or decrease absorption.

Some drugs require high-fat diets to be digested or absorbed. Some other drugs may not be digested if taken with food.

So you see, it depends on the prescription from your doctor.

Drug absorption may be affected if taken with certain foods, such as grape juice. If you have a doubt about how to take the drugs, contact your doctor for more help. 

Drug Coating


Drug companies produce many kinds of drug coatings to ensure that the drug dissolves when due. 

In most cases, digestive acids break down the outer shell, but not always. This is especially true for certain capsules.

Sometimes, the shell will remain the same and completely removed from the body. At this level, you may think that the drugs are already digested, but in a real sense, it is not. 

The best way to check if drugs in your system have been digested is to poke around on your chair to see if there are traces of drugs in the shell or coat.

You can also take note of your response to treatment to see if the drug is working. For example, if you take anti-diabetic drugs and your blood sugar stays normal, the medication will absorb it better.

How Long After I Take Pills Am I Expected to Poop

Basically, it depends on the type of pills you will be taking and also the prescription given by your doctor. 

After taking some tablets, you should feel like stooling within 12 to 72 hours. Dulcolax suppositories usually produce bowel movements in 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Different people may feel the effects at other times.

However, if you poop before the expected time, you may see the pills in your poop. 

How to Take Pills to Be More Effective 

We all rely on the power of our medicine when we are sick at home. Most people do not usually visit a doctor.

They are just aware of the medications they have been given during their illness. However, we need to be aware that medicines are sold to make everyone feel better and recover from illness.

Apart from the help it brings to our lives, it also has side effects if taken improperly.

There are times when pills have to be taken depending on how your Doctor prescribes them to avoid indigestion.

The time and the state of the body when taking the drug greatly affect its effectiveness.

Always Have a Medication Guide

You cannot say when an emergency arises.

If you have over three medications that you need to stick to every day, make a guide that you can fall back on anywhere you find yourself.

Include in the guide the name of your favorite product and the general name of the drug. Also, indicate the type of drug, duration, and dosage.

So if help is needed, the guide can easily be followed accurately. 

Consult Your Doctor

When you visit a doctor, let him know about any medications you are taking other than the prescribed one. Some drugs interact differently with other drugs when taken together unless prescribed by the Doctor.

Vitamins can alter the effects of a drug on the body. It is very important that you always tell your Doctor when prescribing new medicines.

Know Your Side Effects on Medications

Doctors regularly discuss the side effects of some drug and their severity. Be aware of side effects so you know when to contact your Doctor.

If there are unexpected and unusual side effects, do not hesitate to consult your Doctor.

Medications are usually good for the body, but Side effects of drugs are sometimes brought about by combining them without a doctor’s prescription.

Always Take Medicines With Water

Water helps the rapid absorption of all oral medicines, so when you take one, stay in the water and nothing else.

Water is a solvent of the universe and is capable of dissolving almost anything inside the body.

Others take medications with cold drinks or juices that are highly antagonistic. This fluid can irritate the gastric mucosa, which can change the drug’s effect.


Whatever the cause, let your doctor know if you find undigested pills in your stool. It may not be of severe concern but it will likely be something your doctor will want to check out.

“Why do my pills come out whole in my poop” is a question of concern, and hopefully, this article was helpful. 

Do well to share this post with others. 


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