Although it seems like a simple task, swallowing a pill is something that many adults and children have a hard time doing. Fear of choking causes the throat to close up, so it will then stay in the mouth until it is spat out. Fortunately, there are several ways to approach the problem so that you can relax, overcome the fear of choking and simply let the pill slide down your throat.
Method 1 of 3: Swallowing the tablet with food
Step 1. Eat bread
If you're trying to take a pill and you can't get it down, take a small piece of bread and chew it until you feel like swallowing. Before doing this, however, take the pill and stuff it into the dough inside your mouth. When you close your mouth, swallow the food and medicine inside it; it should go down smoothly.
- You can also use donut, biscuit or biscuit pieces. The texture of the chewed food will be similar to that of bread to help the tablet go down.
- Another thing you can do afterwards is take a sip of water to help you descend.
- Some medications need to be taken on an empty stomach. Check the medicine package insert to see if you need to take it on an empty stomach.
Step 2. Cut a gummy candy
To help you swallow the medicine, you can put it inside a gummy candy (making a small cut in the middle). Eat the candy without chewing, because if you do, the medicine may have its duration and duration of effect altered. Try to swallow and when the bullet reaches your throat, take a quick sip of water.
- This can be difficult. If you can't swallow the gummy candy, you might need to practice a little.
- This method is very helpful with a child, as masking the medication with a gummy candy will help them to ingest it.
Step 3. Place the tablet in the middle of a spoonful of honey or peanut butter
Drinking a topping of honey or peanut butter will ease the way down your throat. Take a spoonful of one of the two options and place the pill in the middle, wrapping it with the food. After that, swallow the spoonful of honey or peanut butter. Have a sip of water afterwards.
You must drink water before and after the method. Honey and peanut butter are relatively thick and can go down slowly. Moisturizing your throat before and after will help the food go down faster and keep you from choking
Step 4. Try soft foods
If you can't take the medicine with a bun, try swallowing it with a soft food such as apple sauce, yogurt, ice cream, pudding or jelly. This is a method commonly used in hospitals with patients who have difficulty swallowing. Put the food on a small plate and the medicine in the middle. Eat some of the food before taking a spoonful of medication. When you finally swallow the pill, it should come down easily.
Do not chew the tablet
Step 5. Practice with a small bullet first
One of the main reasons people have difficulty swallowing a pill is that their throats reject the intrusion, which makes them tense. To overcome this you can practice swallowing small candies so that your throat becomes familiar with swallowing something whole, without risking choking or hurting yourself. Choose a small candy (eg an M&M), put it in your mouth like a pill, and swallow it with a little water. Repeat until you are comfortable with the size.
- Then try a slightly larger-sized candy, such as a jellybean or a Tic Tac. Repeat the same procedure with this size until you feel comfortable.
- Practice this every day for about 10 minutes until you can ingest a piece of candy that is the same size and shape as the tablet you need to swallow.
- This can help children take their medicine. Be sure to explain first that taking medication is serious and pills are not sweet.
Step 6. Eat tangerines
Try to swallow a small tangerine wedge whole. When you get used to it, put the medication on one part of the bud and swallow it whole. The sticky texture of the tangerine will make it easier for the pill to pass.
Drink water afterwards so that the tablet goes down as smoothly as possible
Method 2 of 3: Swallowing the tablet with a drink
Step 1. Drink ice water
When taking a medicine, you need to ensure that your throat is as hydrated as possible to facilitate the passage of the pill. Take a few sips of water before trying to swallow the pill, then place it on the back of your tongue and drink more water until you can swallow it.
- Drink more water when the pill is in your throat to help it down.
- The water should be cool or at room temperature, but not cold or hot.
Step 2. Try the two-sip method
Take the pill, place it on your tongue, take a big gulp of water and just swallow the water. After that, drink more water and swallow it along with the medicine. If necessary, drink some more water to help the medicine pass through your throat.
This method causes the throat to open more with the first sip, which will allow for an easier descent of the medication when swallowing for the second time
Step 3. Use a straw
Some people find it easier to swallow if they use a straw to drink the water. Place the tablet on the back of your tongue, drink something through the straw, and swallow the liquid and medication together. Take some more fluid after you have swallowed the tablet to help you get down.
The suction used to pull the liquid through the straw facilitates the act of swallowing
Step 4. Drink lots of water first
For some people, drinking a lot of water helps the pill to pass through. Take a mouthful of water, open your lips slightly and slide the medication into your mouth. After that, swallow it all.
- If the pill seems to be stuck in your throat, drink more water.
- Fill 80% of the mouth with water. If you fill your mouth with too much water you will not be able to swallow it all at once, making this method less efficient.
- You may end up feeling the water or medication in your throat, but this doesn't usually trigger the gag reflex and is perfectly harmless.
- You can use this method by drinking drinks other than water.
Step 5. Help children to swallow a pill
From the age of three, children can already take pills. At this age, the little one may find it difficult to understand how to swallow a pill or be afraid of choking. If so, help him understand what's going on. A simple way to do this is to offer a glass of water and tell him to drink while looking up at the sky. When he does, slide the medication down the side of his mouth and wait until it stops at the back of his throat. After a few moments, tell the child to swallow. The medication should go down gently with the water.
You can try any of the other methods that involve eating or drinking with a child, unless otherwise noted
Method 3 of 3: Testing Alternative Techniques
Step 1. Try the bottle method
Fill a plastic bottle with water and place the medication on your tongue. After that, press your lips around the opening of the bottle, tilt your head back and take a sip of water. Keep your lips tight around the bottle and use suction to pull it into your mouth. The water and tablet should go down your throat without any problem.
- Do not allow air to enter the bottle when taking a sip.
- This method is best for large tablets.
- The act of sucking the drink will open your throat and help you to swallow it.
- This method should not be used with children.
Step 2. Use the tilt forward method
To do this, place the medicine on your tongue and take a sip of water, but do not swallow it. Tilt your head down, chin toward your chest, and let the capsule float to the back of your mouth; when it occurs, swallow the tablet.
- This method works best with capsule-shaped tablets.
- Children can also try this method. After they have taken a sip of water, ask them to face the floor so that you can insert the capsule from the side of their mouth. The pill will float and the child can swallow it with the water.
Step 3. Relax
Anxiety can play a significant factor in preventing an individual from swallowing a drug. If you are anxious, your body will tense up and you will have more difficulty swallowing the medication. To avoid the problem you need to relax. Sit down with a glass of water and do what you can to relieve anxiety; find a quiet place and listen to music that soothes you, or meditate.
- This will help calm the nerves and break the stress of taking medication, making your body less likely to choke.
- If you are having difficulty, talk to a psychologist to help you get rid of anxiety by swallowing pills.
- If you are trying to help a child swallow a pill, make them feel comfortable and stop thinking about it before asking them to take the pill. Read a story, play a game, or find some other activity that will help you relax before asking you to swallow the medication. She is more likely to achieve this if she is calm.
Step 4. Calm down
You may be worried and wondering if the pill will make it down your throat, especially if it's a large one. To help you get rid of this fear, stand in front of a mirror, open your mouth and say "ahhhhh". You will then be able to see how wide your throat is and how easily a pill fits into your throat.
- You can also use a mirror to help put medication on your tongue. The farther back you put it, the less path it has to go before you swallow it.
- You can also do this with a child who is terrified of choking. Do this method together with the child to show that you understand their fear, but convince them that there is nothing to fear.
Step 5. Find alternatives to pills
There are medications available in many forms. It may be possible to find the remedy in the forms: liquid, cream, version for inhalation, suppository or soluble, which is a tablet that dissolves in water. Talk to your doctor about other options, especially if you have a hard time swallowing tablets (regardless of the method tested).
Do not attempt to use a tablet by any means other than those recommended by your doctor. Do not crush it to make it soluble or try to use it as a suppository. Always consult a doctor before changing the way you take your medicine
- Try to buy coated tablets. They glide more easily and are less likely to taste bad if they stay in your mouth longer than they should.
- Try drinking a cold soda or juice to mask the taste of the medication. However, there are some that cannot be taken with soft drinks or juices. If in doubt, ask the doctor.
- All of the methods cited in the article can be used to help children take pills, unless otherwise advised. Be even more careful about the size of food a child will eat.
- Minimize the time the tablet is on your tongue. Get into the habit of putting it on your tongue and drinking the water immediately, with a gentle motion.
- A lightly chewed banana can serve as a substitute for water.
- Prefer liquid or gel capsules to facilitate swallowing.
- Do not crush the medication unless the doctor allows it. Some may lose their effect if crushed.
- Do not take pills for practice or for fun.
- Keep all medicines out of reach of children. Many special flavors were created to make the pills taste better. Children can enjoy this flavor and consume them (which can lead to an accidental overdose). Never tell a child that a pill is a kind of candy.
- Always ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is possible to swallow a tablet with a liquid other than water. Many medications lose their effectiveness or develop unpleasant side effects if they are mixed with certain drinks or foods. Some antibiotics, for example, should never be taken with dairy products.
- If you have a hard time swallowing pills, you may have dysphagia, a swallowing disorder. Ask your doctor about this. However, it is important to remember that people who have dysphagia also find it difficult to ingest food, not just medicine.
- Do not swallow a tablet lying down. Sit or stand to do it.