View Full Version : Symax Duotabs

01-18-2007, 09:11 PM
Hi everyone. It has been a little while since I have posted. I really can't remember if I even posted that my cousin died :cry: the other day with breast cancer and heart problems. It has not been a great week. I have also taken my hubby, Larry, to the doctor every day so far this week and tomorrow he has an appt. with his psychologist. As you may remember, we finally switched doctors, and they are checking him from end to end! I am not complaining about that. Finally they are listening! :)

Today his gastroenterologist put him on a new med, Symax Duotab. Have any of you ever taken this med? Does anyone know much about it? I am just wondering what relationship it has to SLE Lupus. I, so far, have not found anything on the net about taking it for this particular disease. Unfortunately, I was in the waiting room when they gave Larry this med. right after he had an MRI on his head and neck. Of course he didn't ask what it is for. :!: :wink:

I hope all of you are having a good week. It is almost overwith!


01-19-2007, 01:04 PM
Hi, Grace. This is a drug that is often prescribed to treat irritable bowel syndrome, so it wouldn't be specifically lupus related. It is a time-related antispasmodic drug that works by slowing the action of the muscles in the stomach, intestines and bladder. This medication has a lot of potential drug interactions, so you need to be sure that your pharmacist is aware of any other medications Larry is taking. Larry also needs to be careful about combining this medicine with narcotic pain medicines, because it can cause severe constipation, and also increase the action of the narcotics, possibly leading to an overdose. The pharmacist should have given you a leaflet or a printout about this medicine when it was prescribed - do you still have it? It lists several potential side effects, and drug interactions you need to be aware of. This medication can cause dry mouth, heart palpatations, and difficulty urinating, among other things. So if Larry has any prostate or bladder problems, or any family history of glaucoma, he needs to be extra cautious about this medicine, and let his doctor know right away about any problems. He also needs to be careful not to combine this medication with other antispasmodic drugs, muscle relaxers, or MAOI type anti-depressants because it could cause a serious drug interaction. Hope this info helps.

I meant time-released, not time-related - urg!

01-20-2007, 02:40 AM
Thanks so much for responding! This med. was given to him in a couple of samples and then a full prescription. The samples did not have any literature at all and we have not gotten the prescription filled....might not either! He has already been told that he has a very slow digestive system (only "goes once every 4 or 5 days, YUK.) Okay now, the overdose part is scaring me! He took one last night and of course he has taken his hydrocodone 10/650 plus his Ultram 100 like he usually does, and he has slept ALL day long, except for about an hour. Here it is at 3:30 in the AM and I am still up! I am going to put those symax duotabs away until I check with our PC doctor who I really trust, and then I will double check with our pharmacist. I think it is safe to say that I am a little pissed. :x Larry is not going to take any other meds until we check with his regular doctor and the pharmachist!


01-20-2007, 07:24 AM
I copied the Patient Insert for you - that's the bad thing about drug samples - they usually come with the prescribing leaflet for the doctor, but often don't have any info for the patient. You and Larry need to review this so you'll know what to discuss with his doctor. But definitely ask about his taking it with narcotics drugs. This type of antispasmodic drug is helpful for people who have IBS with diarrhea, but for people who have IBS with constipation, it might make the constipation worse.

What are hyoscyamine biphasic tablets or sustained-release capsules or tablets?
HYOSCYAMINE (Symax™ Duotabs, Symax™ SR) treats different bowel problems including irritable bowel syndrome. Generic hyoscyamine sustained-release capsules and tablets are available. Generic hyoscyamine biphasic tablets are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I take hyoscyamine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
•closed-angle glaucoma
•difficulty passing urine
•heart disease, or previous heart attack
•hiatal hernia
•myasthenia gravis
•prostate trouble
•stomach infection
•stomach obstruction
•ulcerative colitis
•an unusual or allergic reaction to hyoscyamine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
•pregnant or trying to get pregnant

How should I take this medicine?
Take hyoscyamine biphasic tablets or sustained-release tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets or capsules with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew the tablets or capsules. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with hyoscyamine?
•medicines for heart problems
•medicines for hay fever and other allergies
•medicines for mental problems or psychotic disturbances
•opiate prescription pain medications such as codeine, hydromorphone, and morphine
•potassium salts

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking hyoscyamine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
•anxiety, nervousness
•blurred vision or other eye problems
•dizziness or fainting spells
•fast heartbeat
•pain or difficulty passing urine
•unusual weakness or tiredness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
•altered taste
•dry mouth
•increased sensitivity of the eyes to sun or ultraviolet light

What should I watch for while taking hyoscyamine?
You may get dizzy or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how hyoscyamine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more dizzy, avoid alcoholic drinks.

Stay out of bright light and wear sunglasses if hyoscyamine makes your eyes more sensitive to light.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.

Hyoscyamine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses, you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your ophthalmologist if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Avoid extreme heat (e.g., hot tubs, saunas). Hyoscyamine can cause you to sweat less than normal. Your body temperature could increase to dangerous levels, which may lead to heat stroke.

You may notice part of a tablet to appear in the stool; this is not cause for concern. The tablet will have released the medication.

Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light and moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Last Updated:05/20/2005

Grace - that's the entire patient printout from Pharmacology Media, which is the patient literature used by many pharmacies. If you need more specific information, let me know and I'll post a couple of links for you. But this is the basic safety info about the drug.

01-20-2007, 09:13 AM
Just wanted to say that you are wonderful and a blessing to this forum!!!!

That was all :lol: :lol:

01-20-2007, 01:53 PM
Ditto to what Saysusie said! Thank you so much for the insert. I printed it out and now I am going to go read it to my husband! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


01-25-2007, 05:11 PM
My husband's new PC doctor, the one I have used since 1988, took Larry off of the stymax duotabs. He is going to see Larry again in his office on Monday. It seems that the pills were making him feel worse. That's another $50.00 down the drain. Tums and milk seem to help alot more! From now on, on new prescriptions, I will only get a partial fill. The gastroenterologist is the one who gave him this presciption. I don't have the same faith in him as our PC doc. I have to say though that our PC doctor has been giving Larry alot of his meds via samples. These are the meds that Larry has been on for a while and he was gracious enough to leave them in the box so the info was included! Stuff like Nexium. synthroid, cerefolin, cymbalta and the like. He has been doing this for several months, even before Larry became his patient. Larry, when he was working, had done alot of work at my doctors house, so at least they knew eachother before he became Larry's doctor also. He gives me alot of mine too, I usually leave there with a couple of paper bags full.Of course, he doesn't have on hand all of the meds we take, but he has been so helpful. He is aware that we have no income now, except for the rent house.

Larry went in for an EDG Wednesday, today he had an EEG and tomorrow he is scheduled for an MRI with contrast. His other MRI, without contrast (?) showed some things that our PC doc doctor doesn't like. He said it could mean several things and so he wants a new MRI to rule out the beginnings of dementia, and several other things. I am scared too death, but have no choice but to deal with it. Our lives are not going in the direction we had planned. I am sure that none of you had planned on any of this either!


01-25-2007, 05:50 PM
Hi, Grace. Sorry things seem to be getting complicated once more with Larry's health. If you don't have prescription drug coverage - you might be able to get your meds through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. You can contact their toll-free number for more information
1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669)

I'm glad Larry is off this med - it didn't sound like a great choice with his other health problems.

Has Larry applied for Social Security Disability? If he's unable to work now, and likely to remain so, then the sooner you get the process started, the better.

You remain in my thoughs and prayers - please keep us posted on how Larry is doing.

01-25-2007, 06:57 PM
I thought I could sense in your last post to me about this that you felt this might not be a great choice. You should have seen the look on our docs face when I went to see him yesterday. I told him that the other doc put Larry on this med, and he didn't like it at all. This morning his nurse called very early and told me to get Larry off of it. In the meantime, we are watching his food intake and he is eating lightly until this gastritis improves some.

We actually do have insurance that covers prescriptions. Larry's past employer is paying for our insurance because Larry worked for him for so long and was so dedicated. As you can imagine, it is quite expensive because of Larry and I have my own issues, high BP, hypothyroidism, alot of spine problems, and depression. The thing is, some of Larry's meds cost us $50.00 or slightly more, WITH the insurance. Two of mine do. These are the meds that our doctor has been giving us, the expensive ones. We have United Health Care, but that will be changing soon to a new insurance that his former boss will be paying for and the coverage will be about the same. I am not sure what Ins. Larry will have, but mine will be BC/BS.

We have a lawyer that used to work for the Social Security Admin. deciding claims. We have to wait until May to file because Larry worked 4 hours in November and around 8 hours in the month of December. I think this is so stupid, but I don't make these laws. I don't know how good our chances will be even with all that is wrong with him. I have heard from many that it is so hard to get disability. Right now we are just living day to day and it has been a humbling experience, but this has made me a stronger person in many ways.( I just found out yesterday that our city council has voted to up our electricity rates by 53%!!!) Life has changed alot for us. It used to be if we wanted something, we went and bought it. Now I have come to realize how many other people struggle each and every day, and it makes me feel ashamed. My doctor told me yesterday that even as depressed as I have been that I have handled my moms death, my dad being put in a nursing home, my cousins death 2 weeks ago, and all of Larry's illnesses pretty well. I have to tell you that sometimes I have felt like I was losing my mind. I have a ton of trouble sleeping at night, and none of the regular meds helped at all. My doc has tried most all of them on me, and the only thing that helps me sleep is 2 mg. of xanax every night. I never take it during the day, just at night. I have also been struggling with emotional eating since all of this started. I was going to curves, but had to take off for a while and have weeks of therapy on my back. I'm trying to not fall apart here! Lol.

This board has been the best thing that has come into my life in a long time. I can hardly believe how wonderful everyone has been.

You are a world of knowledge!


01-25-2007, 07:45 PM
Grace, I'm so sorry you and your husband are dealing with all of these things at one time. Any one of them - illnesses, loss of family, high costs of medication - would be enough to put some people over the edge. I know what you mean about this board - it's sure saved my sanity some days (particularly in the middle of the night!) Feels a little like family, doesn't it? Just keep checking in - you have people like Marycain and Saysusie to give you lots of great, technical advice (not to mention lots of support) and you've got the rest of us to sympathize lend an ear! I hope things improve, Grace.


01-25-2007, 08:12 PM
Grace, I'm not sure why the lawyer would have told you you have to wait until May to file for disability, unless maybe he was talking about a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy through your husband's employer. LTD policies generally require that you be off work a certain time period before you can apply - it can be anywhere from six weeks to six months. But there's no such requirement to apply for Social Security Disability - you can and should apply for SSD as soon as you become disabled. It doesn't matter if he was working last month or even last week, as long as he isn't working as of the date the application is filed, and the disabling condition is expected to last for a least a year. Even people who are working can still file if the amount they earn is under a certain amount - called "substantial gainful activity". For 2007, the SGA amount is $900 per month, so he could file even if he were still working as long as he didn't make more than that. Waiting to file is actually a bad idea - because a person's benefits are based on their average lifetime earnings, calculated as of the day you file for SSD, NOT as of the last day you worked. So a long period of time with no income can decrease the amount of benefits you will eventually draw, unless your average income is high enough to draw the max amount. And remember that once you file, it can easily take three to five months to get a decision. Also, many people don't realize that SSD has a five month "gap" between the "date of disability" and the date you become eligible for benefits. So if someone's date of disability is determined to be January, they don't become eligible for the first disabilty payment until July, and it won't be paid until August. So the sooner you get the process started the better.

01-26-2007, 03:03 PM
Hi Marycain. We did apply for social security disability back in August, and Larry was turned down. We got a letter from them saying that Larry did not qualify for SS disability because of his work. He had to quit work in November, we also had to close down his side business that I ran, because it was in his name, and we were not allowed to put it in my name. If we had put it in my name before we had filed, we would have been smart. The letter from SS Disability said he had to be off of work for 6 months according to SS law. We are scheduled to see our lawyer May 10 to refile. I'm not sure if this is because he had already filed once or what, but I just got the papers back out and looked at them again and this is what it said. We are going to have to appeal. Anyone could be blind in one eye and not see out of the other one to notice that he can not work. What gets me is that I know someone who has nothing wrong, except a slight limp from a motorcycle accident about 30 years ago and he draws disability, never goes to see a doctor, is not on any special meds. He goes dancing all of the time, and hang glides. I just don't understand our system!


01-26-2007, 03:59 PM
Social Security is another one of the health care issues that really needs to be fixed. It may be because he is re-filing - there may be a waiting interval like there is for bankruptcy. But I would still suggest you contact tthe person who signed off on the letter and confirm that this is accurate - even form letters can have typographical errors. If you own property other than your home, you are probably not eligible for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) because there are very strict income guidelines for that program. Unfortunately, you only have a certain period of time to file an appeal after an initial application for Social Security Disability is turned down, so there's no way now to appeal that first rejection. But use the time to gather all of of Larry's medical records so you can make the application as strong as possible.

01-26-2007, 05:29 PM
It didn't take us long to realize that SS is not all that people may think it is. Larry had a phone interview with them also, and then we went to their office. No luck, so then we got the attorney. Right now I am worried about all of the hospital bills. Our insurance pays 80%, but those 20%'s are really adding up. I know I can't let it worry me too much because that will effect Larry and it won't help matters anyway! I keep every thing that even halfway pertains to Larry's health in any way. With all of the docs he sees, and all the different meds, tests, etc. I don't see how he can be turned down again. He has had 11 appointments so far this month. Give me a break, something is wrong! I purchased a calender book just to keep up with all of this, because there was never enough room on a regular calendar to write down the hospitals or doctors name, and what was going to be done on a particular day. In the last month he's had 2 CTs, 2 MRI's, one with contrast, one without, an endoscopy, and EEG, EKG, plus all of the lab work and regular visits with PC doc and specialists. Surely SS will be able to figure out that he is too sick to do anything. We're talking about a man who until the first part of July, worked 7 days a week and loved it. This is misery for him. He would rather work 12 hours a day than to feel sick and hurt as much as he does.