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Funny question - do you wash your hands after taking drugs before you touch your children?

(53 Posts)
doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:06:22

I have OCD and am going throgh a bad patch at the moment which centres around my taking painkillers. I have to take strong codeine drugs four times a day and am literally washing my hands hundreds of times after taking them in case I poison my two year old.

My psych said it might help me to know what NORMAL people do in this case. So mums that have to take heavy drugs - what do you do? Wash your hands once? Or not at all? You can see I have lost sight of what is 'reasonable'!

MavisEnderby Sun 13-Sep-09 19:11:34

It would be very unlikely for any harm to come to your dc from you having touched a codiene tablet.

Dp is on fentanyl patches (strong opiod painkiller) that are absorbed through the skin so he does wash his hands after applying these before contact with dcs,but again it would be extremely unlikely for there to be an issue.

Have you considered putting the tablets into a little medicine pot then putting them in your mouth straight from the pot if it is causing you this much anxiety re touching the tablets?

LauraIngallsWilder Sun 13-Sep-09 19:14:24

I second Mavis suggestion - put medicine in a medicine pot, then you dont need to touch it at all

That would solve the problem for me

I aggree I dont think you should worry about miniscule amounts of the drug going onto your dd

doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:15:16

Hi Mavis - thank you very much for replying. Good idea re tipping them in the pot. The trouble comes often when I have to take half a one (whole ones can make me ill at certain times of the month) - I worry little bits are still on my hands. I thought about asking the GP for a patch - they have suggested it in the past - but having heard your husband's experience maybe not. With a patch I would also worry about it slipping off and ds picking it up.

doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:16:27

By the way - I have just thought - the pills come in blister packs so I would have to handle them.

colditz Sun 13-Sep-09 19:18:22

no, I don't. Pointless. there is not enough of the drug on the about that comes off on your hands to poison your child, even if you rubbed them really hard and put your fingers in her mouth.

it might just about be normal to wash them once. Washing them more than once is not normal behavior .... I know I sound patronising, but you did say you have lost sight of normal!

colditz Sun 13-Sep-09 19:19:12

re little bits - wash your hands once. No more.

CrackWhoretoPaulDacre Sun 13-Sep-09 19:20:26

I take dihydracodeine and naratriptan - both strong enough to be well out of reach from DS, and handbag always hung out of reach of casual small hands. But it's never even occurred to me to wash hands after taking a dose. HTH.

doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:20:47

Colditz - thank you. I NEED to know what a normal person does. It will help me.

MavisEnderby Sun 13-Sep-09 19:21:38

You can just ping tablets from a blister pack into a pot also.(I have lots of experience doing this it IS possible
Re the half tablet,could you ask the pharmacist if the tablet is supplied in a smaller dose,thus negating your need to have to chop it in half or whatever.

Re patches,they are very useful,and realistically,even if a tiny bit of residue was attached to hand,one decent handwash would remove any residue and the amount left on hands anyhow even before washing would be negligible and extremely unlikely to be enough to cause harm.

doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:23:04

Hi CWtPD. I take dihydrocodeine too, bucket loads of it, for fibromyalgia and CFS. I have got to STOP washing haven't I? It's so much easier said than done though!

nickytwotimes Sun 13-Sep-09 19:23:58

I take dihydrocodeine or co-codamol, full strength.
I am a keen hand-washer (ie:always after coming home, after the loo, before eating and carry alcohol gel) and I have never washed my hands after taking tablets.
Of my many nurse friends, I know they always wash their hands before giving or taking tablets, but never after.

MavisEnderby Sun 13-Sep-09 19:24:34

Have you considered asking your GP to refer you for CBT?

It is often very useful for such issues xx

doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:25:50

Nicky and Mavis - thank you. It's particularly reassuring that nurses wouldn't wash either. And Mavis, I will ask GP for smaller doses. I am going to sort this thing.

GirlsAreLOud Sun 13-Sep-09 19:25:53

I don't take strong drugs but thought I'd answer that if I have to give the dog tablets (chop them and put them in her food) the I do wash my hands. Just once.

GirlsAreLOud Sun 13-Sep-09 19:25:54

I don't take strong drugs but thought I'd answer that if I have to give the dog tablets (chop them and put them in her food) the I do wash my hands. Just once.

doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:27:10

Mavis - CBT hasn't helped me but ADs have and am bumping up my dose as of yesterday.

norktasticninja Sun 13-Sep-09 19:29:46

I think I would wash my hands after taking something like Codine. Just once though. If I hadn't had to beak a pill in half and DD (21 months) was desperately needing me I wouldn't worry if I didn't have time to wash. If she was desperately needing me and I had broken a pill I'd probably just give my fingers a good suck!

The tiny bit of codine that might be on your hands after taking it wouldn't harm your DC. OCD is a bitch isn't it.

CrackWhoretoPaulDacre Sun 13-Sep-09 19:31:03

If you really can't stop the handwashing, how about using aqueous cream instead of soap? Give your skin a bit of a break?

theansweris42 Sun 13-Sep-09 19:32:23

I'm a nurse for years. Wash hands of course before administering, never seen any residue after even a long medication round. Would wash after for general hygeine, that's all. (Would wash in between if touching patient as well but that's a diff issue!)

franklymydear Sun 13-Sep-09 19:32:25

I don't wash my hands at all after taking drugs. Just after going to the toilet or before cooking.

doggus Sun 13-Sep-09 21:20:12

Thank you all SO much. Just put ds to bed after having some pills and did lots of handwashing but kept repeating to myself 'this is NOT normal', so maybe all your answers will have an effect.

theansweris42 - thank you, that really helps. It's ironic I was in a ward for a week after ds' birth and took all my pills quite merrily without hand washing or a second thought.

Nprktastic - OCD is a total bitch, it's one of the top ten diseases in the world for disrupting normal life.

CWtPD (I love your name) - I do use aqeuous cream (sp) after an equally OCD GP told me to!

sherby Sun 13-Sep-09 21:25:00

I don't wash my hands after taking any pills/meds at all. My kids have never had any ill effects from it at all.

Just so you know smile

MagNacarta Sun 13-Sep-09 21:29:52

I wouldn't and haven't washed my hands after taking any drugs/medicine unless it's a creme type thing. I wash my hands frequently throughout the day (every visit to the loo, after handling food etc) so I think that my hands are clean enough.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 13-Sep-09 21:34:49

I have to give my cat pills every day and wash after that.

Also whenever I give the kids Calpol/Neurofen, to avoid cross contamination of whatever lurgy the one has to the other.

And I wash my hands before I take drugs, not after - who wants to ingest dirt with your paracetamol? hmm

But that's it.

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