Do you have trouble taking pills? Do you gag or choke when you try to swallow your medication? Whether you are taking one pill or a whole handful, taking them for a limited time or the rest of your life, getting them down can be a challenge. Studies show that among people who have difficulty taking their pills, about one-third end up gagging, choking or vomiting. It may seem like a minor problem, but some of those who are uncomfortable taking their pills skip doses, which can lead to more serious medical problems.
If you have to take several pills, take them one at a time. To swallow a pill easily, take it with plenty of liquid. According to a report from the Annals of Family Medicine, many people are successful at swallowing tablets using the pop-bottle method. Take a plastic water or pop bottle filled with water, put the pill on your tongue, close your lips securely around the opening and take a drink, using a sucking motion to swallow a mouthful of water and the pill. Don’t let air get into the bottle.
If you just can’t get that pill down, try using soft food, such as a piece of bread. Chew a small piece of bread, but before you swallow, place your pill in the chewed bread in your mouth. Then swallow the bread with the pill inside. Before using this method, check the instructions on your medication to see if you have to take your pill on an empty stomach.
If possible, get pills that are coated, as they tend to slide down more easily.
Sometimes swallowing a pill just takes practice. Repeated gagging and choking can make you feel anxious about taking your medication, but as you practice and get better at it, you will feel more comfortable and confident. You can practice with candy, starting with very tiny candies, such as sprinkles. A sip of water before swallowing and another after helps the pill, or the candy, go down.
When practicing, try different ways of swallowing. Some people prefer to place the pill on the back of the tongue and drink water until the pill goes down, but others use a straw, or tilt their head a little. Keep trying until you find the method that works the best for you.
For questions regarding your medication, contact us.