Cold meds + constipation...no, wait! It's a sinus infection!

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bookworm21
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   Posted 11/16/2009 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone noticed that cold meds mess up their digestive system?
Last year when I had a cold and took meds (I think Vicks), it gave me diarrhea. Now I'm taking Tylenol for cold and it's making me constipated and bloated...I don't understand!

Red_34
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   Posted 11/17/2009 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
It could be just the fact that your sick that is messing up your system. I've never had an issue with Tylonel Cold and Flu but I have issues with Dayquil (D to C and rashes). So I bet it's just one of those odd things that happens.
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~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(6 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**~Allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-Norvasc~Sacroiliitis~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~Epidural injections (2 series of 3), OA-Tylonel Arthritis
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calm-on-the-outside
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   Posted 11/17/2009 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
It seems like years ago a nurse told me that certain cold meds that 'dry you up' (decongestants I guess) cause constipation in some people. Don't know how true that is but when I read your post that came to mind.
*Amy, 32, dx with idiopathic colitis July 2009, confirmed UC Sept 2009


Asacol 2 pills 3 times daily
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Probiotic: Ultimate Flora Critical Care
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quincy
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   Posted 11/17/2009 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
If there are antihistamines, that could cause the drying up as well as the cough suppressant. If both are in the product, that could account for your now symptoms. Decongestants tend to open passages, but can dry one's secretions if taken in large amounts. I've not had that happen, however...but definitely do with antihistamines and suppressants.

Are you taking the syrup or the capsules? With the Vicks, maybe the sugar ingredient or alcohol ingredient bothered you....

Or, you were flaring or possibly it was something you ingested (like a gastro bug or just the fact that you were sick).

Hope you feel better soon!

quincy

bookworm21
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   Posted 11/17/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to the doctor and I actually have a sinus infection. He wanted to prescribe a Z-pack, but I said no because it's an antibiotic and antibiotics have made my flares worse, and I don't want to take the risk of getting kicked out of remission now. But he said that if it lasts more than 10 days, then I will have to take antibiotics b/c that'll be the only way of getting rid of the infection. But my Remicade infusion is also in 10 days.

I'm assuming I can't get my infusion if I still have the infection, so should I go ahead and take the Z-pack? Or should I try like Tylenol for sinus infections or something?
ETA: I'm taking capsules. It has: acetaminophen for headache/sore throat, phenylephrine hcl for nasal congestion, dextromethorphan HBr for coughing, and Guaifenesis for chest congestion.

Oh my gosh, the headache part is the worst. I feel like my head is going to explode any second!

quincy
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   Posted 11/17/2009 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi...for a sinus infection, I would take the Z-pack. Anyday! It works great for me.

Instead of the Tylenol formula you're taking, change it to just Sudafed, Robitussin Expectorant (not with the cough suppressant) and Tylenol..all separately.

The Sudafed comes in a 12 hour formula and a PE formula. The 12 hour one may wire you up too much, the PE formula is one I use.

I also use Otrivin before bedtime ONLY!!! so that I can breathe.

I can relate to the head exploding feeling.....big time. I feel for you!

You can try steaming yourself, drinking tea and staying hydrated.

A facial massage can help release some of the pressure in the sinuses, but it can hurt to even do it.

A warm compress on the sinuses might help as well.

I hope you feel better soon.

quincy

fruitgirl
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   Posted 11/17/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Get a Neti pot and use it morning and night, if you want to try to get rid of the sinus infection yourself. It's amazing (and nasty) how much stuff those things flush out.
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, OrthoNovum, multivitamin.  Used prednisone (starting dose 40 mg) to get into remission.
Thread with links to UC resources and  information:
 


quincy
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Date Joined May 2003
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   Posted 11/17/2009 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
oh yes....and a neti pot. Thanks fruitgirl! I used mine last night because I was starting to get a bit "snotty"..lol...didn't improve my disposition, but I'm breathing great today!.

quincy

bookworm21
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   Posted 11/17/2009 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a neti pot, but I get minor nose bleeds and water/salt solution irritates it.


I can't be sick or on antibiotics the week before my infusion. So unless I get magically better by Thursday, I have to push back my infusion. Which sucks, because I already pushed it back a week so I could have it during Thanksgiving break and not miss classes. And I'm already seeing signs of urgency and loose stools, which means that it is time for an infusion, so I feel like I'll be in a flare by the time I finally get to my infusions, especially if I have to take antibiotics. Not to mention, I'll have to miss two days of classes to get the infusion since I'm a few hours away from home. Why is my body so evil to me?



Oh, and all of this falls near the end of the semester when I have a presentation to do and 4 research papers. Just fabulous. *sarcasm* [



quincy, does a Z-pack not upset your colon? What dosage and for how long do you take it? I'm so scared it's going to send me into a flare and I just can't handle that right now.

quincy
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Date Joined May 2003
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   Posted 11/17/2009 10:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi..no, it doesn't cause me any problems. I do take probiotics, however... but it doesn't seem that any antibiotics I've taken caused any problems in the past anyway..oh, wrongo...ampicillin caused diarrhea in 1976...


I don't think you have a choice but to use the antibiotics.

Regarding using the neti pot..maybe too much salt? although if you don't use enough, it will be painful without.
I know it can dry out sinuses and throat if used too much, but maybe use it once every two days?


It seems that during this time of so much request upon you....something will give. If you can deal with the sinus infection quickly...maybe just a 5 day course would help, because it keeps working after it's done. So, that in conjunction with probiotics, your colon should be covered.

Hope you get some comfort soon....I HATE colds or sinus infections....actually, I'd rather flare because at least I can breathe..lol!

quincy

Old Hat
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   Posted 11/17/2009 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you're in this predicament at finals time, Bookworm. Sinus infections seem to be the bane of so many on this forum! I can't improve on the above-mentioned advice except to say that my gastro advised yrs back NOT to take decongestants around the clock-- but ONLY before bedtime to facilitate sleep. They dry out the mucosa, ideally in the respiratory tract, but they can affect the digestive organs, too. This doctor recommended basic Sudafed & said to avoid the combo cold meds. Hope you'll be able to get enough rest at this busy time of semester so as to feel better soon! / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/18/2009 7:22 AM (GMT -6)   
One comment about the Sudafed. In some people Sudafed can be a stimulant so if you try Sudafed, do NOT use it before going to bed or you may not be able to sleep.

I'm sorry that you have so much on your plate right now Bookworm. And I know (as well as many of us) what it's like to have your body betray you. Hang in there and I hope you start to feel better soon.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(6 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**~Allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-Norvasc~Sacroiliitis~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~Epidural injections (2 series of 3), OA-Tylonel Arthritis
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 

 
 


fruitgirl
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Date Joined Feb 2009
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   Posted 11/18/2009 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a problem with nosebleeds, too, and when I'm having a lot of them, I'll load a q-tip up with vaseline and swab in my nose. It feels gross, but really helps.

I hope things take an upswing soon!
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, OrthoNovum, multivitamin.  Used prednisone (starting dose 40 mg) to get into remission.
Thread with links to UC resources and  information:
 


Old Hat
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Date Joined Feb 2007
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   Posted 11/18/2009 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I didn't mean to advise taking the basic Sudafed right before hopping into bed. Rather take it 1-1 1/2 hrs. before bedtime so that congestion relief is underway when you lie down. That was the doctor's advice: try to get help from the OTC med at the point when you most need it, but don't take it 'round the clock because it can mess with your digestive tract. RE Fruitgirl's vaseline/Q-tip recommendation-- the ENT gave me that advice, too, because my nose gets irritated during cold weather & tends to bleed more readily then. Hang in there, Bookworm-- we're all sending you positive vibes! / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

bookworm21
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Date Joined Mar 2008
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   Posted 11/18/2009 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice and well wishes.


My head isn't throbbing as much as yesterday. However, I've had extremely loose stools today. Now I'm definitely afraid I'll be crapping in my pants if I take antibiotics!

bookworm21
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 11/18/2009 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay so I talked to my PCP at home about how I'm hesitant to take z-pak b/c of diarrhea, so she prescribed me bactrim. Which is also antibiotic. So why would I take that over a z-pak? Grrrrr....


Would it be a bad idea to take the antibiotic, but to take it at a lower dose than prescribed? My doctors aren't listening to me at all.

But I'm feeling much better today--not as much congestion, less coughing than previous day, and barely any head throbbing. Does this mean it could be a virus, and not a bacterial infection (since I'm getting better)?

fruitgirl
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 11/18/2009 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I honestly wouldn't take the antibiotic at a lower dose for fear of encouraging antibiotic resistance.
If you really do feel better, maybe give it a couple of days and see how things go.
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, OrthoNovum, multivitamin.  Used prednisone (starting dose 40 mg) to get into remission.
Thread with links to UC resources and  information:
 


bookworm21
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 11/19/2009 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I think I'm going to wait and see. Maybe try some natural remedies (like steaming or garlic or something). I always have a sore throat in the mornings and runny nose b/c of allergies so it's going to be hard to draw the line between sinus infection improving and normal allergy symptoms.
But I'm starting to get nauseous when I eat, and that's a sign of a flare...I need my Remicade!!!

Old Hat
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5181
   Posted 11/19/2009 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm inclined to agree with Fruitgirl. Hopefully, you'll continue to improve so that the antibiotics won't be necessary. At the end of October I got a bad report from routine urinalysis that recommended antibiotic treatment for enterococcus. I didn't feel bad except for some intermittent bladder urgency that has occurred off & on since I went on Colazal in 2003. I decided to wait it out & drink more pomegranate & natural cranberry juice daily & seem to be o.k. Also asked Judy 2, who replied that not all enterococcus are pathogenic-- so, it could also be your case that your discomfort is not an infection. Have you been running a fever? If not & you feel better symptom-wise, you're likely on the mend from the respiratory troubles. Definitely take good care of yourself & keep us posted. / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

subdued
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   Posted 11/19/2009 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I use Sudafed for sinus infections. It's the only thing that stops the excruciating pain without having to resort to antibiotics. In fact, there is some debate as to whether or not antibiotics are even necessary for sinus infections. Here's a helpful link about what to do if you have a sinus infection:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000647.htm

Interesting about noticing that cold medicines dry up the poo. My BMs are a bit dry this week, and I've been taking cold medicine for a runny nose and congested chest.
[color=green>
<FONT>Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

What works for me: Fecal transplantation, Probiotics, Anti-inflammatory foods, No HFCS, No crystalline fructose, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, Vitamins, Lexapro (for stress).</FONT>


bookworm21
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Date Joined Mar 2008
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   Posted 11/20/2009 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the link. When I was searching for natural remedies, I actually found quite a few articles saying that antibiotics are unnecessary or unhelpful for sinus infections.


I haven't had any fevers. I'm slowly getting better--no throbbing head, but a little congestion (which I always have b/c of continuous allergies) and coughing. I'll have to call my GI today and see if I can still get my infusion next week. *crosses fingers*
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