There may be changes to the way your body absorbs medications after ostomy surgery. Talk to your doctors about any changes or bloodwork that might be needed to make sure you get the correct dosages.

Having urostomy surgery will not affect the absorption of your medications. Some medications may change the odour or colour of the urine. For example antibiotics may have a moldy smell and Vitamin B may make the urine bright yellow.

If you require antibiotics for a urinary tract infection (UTI) remind your doctor and pharmacist that you do not have a bladder.

Because medications do not go into the colon (also called the large intestine or large bowel), you may not absorb as much of some medications as you did before your surgery.

Here are some ways to improve absorption of medications:

  • Inform the pharmacist and remind your doctor that you have an ileostomy
  • Some time-released medications are designed to gradually be absorbed in the ileum and colon
    • You may not be getting the full effect of the medications
    • More suitable medication formulations are solutions, suspensions, gelatin capsules and uncoated tablets
  • Do not crush tablets unless you check with your pharmacist

Depending on the amount of bowel removed, people may have difficulty absorbing medications:

  • Descending or sigmoid colostomy: little to no effect on absorbing medication
  • Ascending or transverse colostomy: discuss the tips above for people with ileostomy