Are we slowly poisoning ourselves with meds when we crush them?

  1. I took a urine test months ago and it came up positive for opiates. First of all, I don't use drugs , smoke , and I rarely drink...okay I drink with my buddies all the time .... .

    Anyway, either my urine sample was contaminated or maybe it was that Fentanyl patch I had to replace (72 hours) when I carelessly forgot to use gloves when removing it (that was months before the urine test though). The hospital where I took the test told me it was possibly from sesame seeds I might have eaten or some crap like that ( I had to persuade my hospital that I wasn't a crackhead).

    Maybe we should start wearing TB N95 masks when we pass out meds.

    :biere:
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   SusanJean
    I have heard that poppy seeds can give a false positive, but never anything about sesame seeds.

    Do the tests quantify the amount of drug, or just show the presence of it?
  4. by   babynursewannab
    I've heard of poppy, not sesame, as well...but that's off the point. I think it may be a valid question. However, we all should know about absorption with meds and wear gloves when appropriate. It can't always be avoided, though. I, personally, got splashed up my arm with NTG while changing out a bag. I missed some of it while cleaning up, and became lightheaded and had tingling around my mouth and then came down with a FABULOUS headache. So the hazard is there with us working with the meds.

    I often wonder about cross-med contamination with the pill cutter. Have you ever looked at that razor in there? Aren't our patients getting bits of other meds wiped across their pills if we use it and don't clean it off first? I always clean it for that reason.

    Sorry about your test, I'm sure it was wonderful fun defending yourself!
  5. by   CoffeeRTC
    I remember getting light headed when I was a CNA. We would take off the nitro paste patches at night...no one ever trained/ told me about gloves.
  6. by   Nascar nurse
    Also need to take into consideration some of the prostate oral hormone medications given to men w/ prostate problems - can't think of the name of it right now (can anyone help me with this). But anyway, pregnant women should not touch this med as it may cause birth defects in their unborn male children. Have never seen this warning come across from the pharmacy fact sheets, and no one ever really makes an issue out of it - but it is something to think about.
  7. by   buckeyenursey
    A nurse that I know (she's been a LPN for about 10 years) has a brain tumor. This all happened about 6 months or so ago. The surgeon removed the tumor, and after the surgery tells her and her family that this type of tumor is common in nurses - it has something to do with inhaling the powder from crushing meds. The tumor was removed, but the doc basically said that it will come back and there is no cure for it. This definitely got me thinking when I heard all this!
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    I rarely have to crush meds . . .but when I do there is always some fine dust particles and I do wonder about that. I always wipe off the pill cutter and clean the crusher too.

    I had my first seizure two years ago after spilling narcan on my hands. No connection apparently according to about a bazillion docs and pharmacists I talked to or emailed. (well, bazillion is probably a slight exaggeration

    Needless to say I always wear gloves when giving narcan.

    steph
  9. by   sirI
    Another thing. Some OTCs will cause false positives. Of course there should be two tests involved. Qualitative and quantitative.

    Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, some antibx, Nyquil, DXM, kidney dz, diabetes, liver dz, all can cause false positives. Many others as well.

    Poppy seeds ingested ..... 25-40 Gm......about 1 or 2 servings of a poppy seed cake, is enough to case a false positive opiate.

    Those highlighted on bold can definitely cause false positives for opiates.
  10. by   Jubei
    Quote from SusanJean
    I have heard that poppy seeds can give a false positive, but never anything about sesame seeds.

    Do the tests quantify the amount of drug, or just show the presence of it?
    Actually, I was told it could have been poppy seeds rather than sesame seeds. And to answer your question, yes, they quantify the damn thing. Either ways, I don't think I ate anything poppy seed related.
  11. by   Jubei
    Quote from babynursewannab
    Sorry about your test, I'm sure it was wonderful fun defending yourself!
    Yeah, I felt quilty around my manager (and with gossip rampant in hospitals)for no reason at all.
  12. by   Jubei
    Quote from stevielynn
    I rarely have to crush meds . . .but when I do there is always some fine dust particles and I do wonder about that. I always wipe off the pill cutter and clean the crusher too.

    I had my first seizure two years ago after spilling narcan on my hands. No connection apparently according to about a bazillion docs and pharmacists I talked to or emailed. (well, bazillion is probably a slight exaggeration

    Needless to say I always wear gloves when giving narcan.

    steph
    It's worse during hot weather days. We got electric fans blowing all over the place in my hospital. I'm seriously paranoid about drug particles in the air. Thank God I only work part time as an LVN.
  13. by   Jubei
    Quote from siri
    Another thing. Some OTCs will cause false positives. Of course there should be two tests involved. Qualitative and quantitative.

    Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, some antibx, Nyquil, DXM, kidney dz, diabetes, liver dz, all can cause false positives. Many others as well.

    Poppy seeds ingested ..... 25-40 Gm......about 1 or 2 servings of a poppy seed cake, is enough to case a false positive opiate.

    Those highlighted on bold can definitely cause false positives for opiates.
    I never took any of the above mentioned drugs or have those illnesses....atleast I don't think I do (I better schedule a physical).
  14. by   Chicklet2
    Should we be wearing maskes when crushing pills??? I'm about to start my first nursing job at a nursing home where i'll be crushing a good majority of the pills. That one post sure has me thinkin..........

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