Trouble Swallowing Pills
If you hate swallowing pills and struggle every time you have to take a pill,
rest assured that you are not alone! There are as many tips as there are people
who have, and have overcome, this problem. Your anxiety about the situation
is only making it worse. Discussing your problem with your doctor and your pharmacist
might help. While your prescription may not come in a chewable form, it may
come in a suppository, liquid, powder, sprinkle, sublingual, nasal spray, injectable,
or patch form. There may be another medication that is similar, would work just
as well for your problem, and comes in an alternate dosing form. Your pharmacist
may be able to prepare a special formulation for you.
Accept that swallowing pills is a skill that takes practice. It's not natural
for our bodies to swallow a solid substance without chewing it first. You may
want to practice with a small, benign pill substitute like mini-M & M's,
then work up to regular sized M & M's. Another option might be to embed
the pill in some form of food (e.g. Jell-O or ice cream) and swallow both together.
Try having some water in your mouth first and then inserting and swallowing
the pill. Alternately, chew 2-3 crackers and then try swallowing the pill. Some
people recommend sipping a cold, carbonated beverage straight from the bottle
or can when swallowing a pill. Others have found success by spraying an over-the-counter
topical anesthetic such as Chloraseptic® before trying to swallow a pill. And
finally, try placing the pill on the back of your tongue, drinking some
water, tilting your chin down toward your chest, and then trying to swallow.
Created: 8/22/2005  - Donnica Moore, M.D.