Ghost Pills in Stools are Not a Concern

If you are consuming medications for any diseases, there may be times when you might look into the toilet after a bowel movement and see a tablet or pill partially digested. You may wonder if something is wrong with the digestion or if the medications are not working like it’s supposed to.

However, seeing the undigested pill or ghost pill in your stool doesn’t mean anything wrong with the digestive tract. This blog will look closely at why this occurs and when you must discuss it with your healthcare provider. However, one thing to remember is that you can get discounts on medications by downloading the best prescription discount card.

Meaning of ghost pill

Orally taken tablets or pills in different formulations impose a central role in treating various medical and psychiatric conditions. If you want to improve your compliance, try to reduce the frequency of taking medications and minimize the peaks and troughs associated with specific immediate-release formulations.

Tablet coatings and shells

Pharmaceutical companies make many different kinds of coatings. It helps to ensure that the medication dissolves when it is supposed to and at the correct rate for it to work. These include the tablets marked “sustained-release” or “extended-release,” as well as the capsule that contains the active medication in a pellet or powdered form.

In most cases, the body’s digestive acids break down the outer shells, but it doesn’t happen. It is valid with specific capsules. In some cases, the shell may remain intact and expelled from the body, essentially unchanged. However, while you may think the medication does not need to be absorbed, it may have.

It is similar to corn kernel digestion, where the inner grain gets absorbed, but the though fibrous husk passes through the stool. The top way to tell if a drug has been absorbed is to pole around in the stool and find if the shell has traces of medication.

You can also monitor the response to treatment simultaneously to check if the drug is working right. For instance, if you are taking medications for blood sugar and diabetes remains normal, there’s a good chance the medications get adequately absorbed.

If you are in doubt, talk to your healthcare provider. They will be able to tell you about the situation and will prescribe an alternate drug if required.

Absorption problem

In a few cases, gastrointestinal motility problems may prevent the drug from entirely absorbing. Motility refers to the muscle contractions that move food and other substances through the intestines. If the contractions are too rapid, referred to as fast dysmotility, a capsule or tablet may pass through the intestines not fully digested.

Diarrhea being one of the top examples of this, includes the following causes:

  • Celiac disease (CD)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Food intolerance
  • Viral gastroenteritis

Specific medications

Few conditions like celiac disease also result in malabsorption in which the intestines are not likely to absorb the medications and nutrients. If you are not absorbing your medicines properly, then there is a good chance you are not getting the nutrients from the food either.

Improper medications use

While it is unlikely that taking the drug the wrong way may make it unabsorbed, it is highly possible. Medications work in a particular way and need to be taken as prescribed. It helps to ensure that they are broken down and absorbed as they are supposed to be.

For example:

  • Drug absorption may affect when you take it with specific foods like grapefruit juice.
  • Few drugs may not be adequately absorbed if you take them with food.
  • Certain drugs require a high-fat or large meal to be absorbed.
  • Specific drugs cannot be taken together due to the interactions that decrease or increases the absorption rate.


There are many reasons why a capsule or pill may appear undigested. It could be that the tablet does not break down entirely, though the active drug may get absorbed. You may be suffering from diarrhea or other disorders that result in drugs passing through the intestines quite quickly. Otherwise, you would be simply taking the medication incorrectly.

Whatever the case, it is best to let your doctor know if you find undigested medications or ghost pills in your stool. It may be a severe concern but will likely be something your doctor would like to check out.

If you take the medications through the Rx discount card, you can get them cheaply.

Rx discount card

Leave a Comment