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Some drugs are treated in a way so as to effect the rate or manner with which they are absorbed into the human body. Examples include ‘Slow Release’ and ‘Enteric Coated’ forms of the pharmaceutical.
Drugs packaged in a way that allows a slow, steady absorption from the gut into the blood stream are called ‘Slow Release’ and often given the initials ‘SR’. Some drugs that provide a peaceful death are available in SR forms. That said, one should be aware that these forms of the drug are usually less effective than standard preparations. Let us explain why.
A drug’s lethal efficacy usually depends on a rapid rise in the level of the drug in a person’s blood (ie. at a rate that is too fast for the body’s normal excretion mechanisms to operate effectively). Slow Release forms of a drug do not cause a steep rise in the blood level of the drug. Crushing or dissolving the drugs before consumption is unlikely to alter this. Powdered, slow release drugs are still slow release. Morphine (NOT the best end of life drug - see Chapter 10) is often prescribed in slow release tablet forms to ensure long periods of pain control, and is less effective in this form. Enteric Coating (EC) is a way of treating some pharmaceuticals so that the active ingredient passes to a more receptive part of the gut before being absorbed into the bloodstream. Examples of EC drugs include those that may be partially destroyed by the strong acid environment of the stomach, but yet are stable, potent and