Although it may seem childish, many adults and children have great difficulty swallowing the pills they need to take. The fear of choking causes a reflex in the throat that causes it to constrict so much that the pill stays in your mouth until you spit it out. Fortunately, there are different ways to approach the problem in order to relax you, overcome your fear of choking, and let the pill go down on its own.
Method 1 of 3: Take the pills in your food
Step 1. Eat bread
If you are trying to take a pill that has failed, you can try using a piece of bread. Take a small piece of bread and chew it until you are ready to swallow it. Before swallowing, take the pill and stick it into the chewed bread in your mouth. After you close your mouth, swallow the food that now contains the pill. It should pass like a letter in the mail.
- You can also use a piece of croissant, dry cookies or a piece of cake. The texture is similar enough to help pass the pill after you chew the food a bit.
- You can also have a glass of water afterwards to help bring down the bread.
- Some medicines must be taken on an empty stomach. Check the pill dosage to see whether or not you should take it on an empty stomach.
Step 2. Cut out a gelatin candy
To help you take your pill, you can stick it in gelatin candy. Take a candy big enough to cut a small pocket in it. Put the pill in it. Swallow the candy, but don't chew it. You may affect how long some medicines last and how long they are released into the body by chewing them. Just try to swallow it and quickly drink a glass of water once it is in your throat.
- This can be difficult if you cannot swallow the gelatin candy. You won't have to do it several times.
- This method is especially useful for children. You will help them take their medicine by hiding it in a candy that they like.
Step 3. Put the pill in honey or peanut butter
The pills can also be taken with honey or peanut butter, as this helps its passage through the throat. Take a spoonful of one of these two products. Place the pill in the middle of the spoonful. Push it into the food. Then swallow the spoonful of honey or peanut butter with the pill in it. Take a sip of water.
You should drink water before and after this method. Honey and peanut butter are relatively thick foods and they might make you feel like you're not doing well. Moisturize your throat before and after so that the food passes faster without choking you
Step 4. Try soft foods
If you cannot take the pill with bread, you can try taking it with something that is soft, such as compote, yogurt, ice cream, custard or gelatin. It is a popular method in hospitals for patients who have difficulty swallowing. Pour the food into a small bowl. Put the pill in the bowl. Swallow some of the food before swallowing the mouthful that contains the pill. It should pass easily with the food you are swallowing.
Be careful not to chew the pill
Step 5. Practice with a little candy first
One of the reasons people fail to swallow the pills is that their throats reject the intrusion of this strange body and tighten up. One way to overcome this problem is to practice swallowing small candies to get your throat used to swallowing pill-sized food without risking choking. Take a little candy like a sugar confetti, a small M&M, or a chocolate covered raisin. Put it in your mouth as if it were the pill and swallow it with a sip of water. Repeat until you are comfortable with the size of the candy.
- Then you can switch to a slightly larger size candy like a Skittle, a regular M&M, a Dragibus or a Tic Tac. Repeat the same steps until you are comfortable with the sensation.
- Work out for 10 minutes every day until you can swallow a pill-sized candy that you need to take.
- This technique can help children take their medication. Just be sure to explain to her that drugs are not candy and should never be taken like candy.
Step 6. Eat tangerines
Try to swallow whole mandarin wedges. Once you get used to this feeling, insert the pill in a wedge of tangerine and swallow it whole. The slimy texture of tangerine will help it pass through your throat more easily.
Drink after swallowing the quarter to make sure it has gone well
Method 2 of 3: Take the pills with fluids
Step 1. Drink cold water
Before taking your medicine, you should make sure that your throat is sufficiently hydrated for the pill to pass properly. Drink several sips of water before taking the pill. Place the pill on the back of your tongue, then drink a glass of water to make it go down.
- Drink a few more sips after swallowing the pill to help you swallow it.
- The water should be cold or at room temperature, not freezing or hot.
Step 2. Try the two-sip method
Take your pill and put it on your tongue. Take a big sip of water and swallow it, but do not swallow the pill. Then take another sip of water and swallow it along with the pill. Take a last sip of normal water to lower the pill.
This method opens your throat wider after the first sip, which helps the pill pass on the second sip
Step 3. Use a straw
Some people prefer to use a straw to swallow a pill. Place the pill on the back of your tongue. Drink liquid through the straw and swallow the pill at the same time. Continue to drink a few sips after swallowing the pill to help it get off.
The suction effect required to make the liquid rise through the straw makes it easier to swallow the pill
Step 4. Start by drinking plenty of water
Some people find it easier to swallow a pill with plenty of water. Take a good sip of water in your mouth. Slightly open the corner of your lips to slide the pill into your mouth. Then swallow the pill along with the sip of water.
- If you feel the pill is stuck in your throat, drink more sips of water until you have swallowed the pill.
- Fill your mouth 80% with water. If you overfill your mouth, you will not be able to swallow all the water at one time, and this method may be less effective.
- You may feel the water or the pill in your throat. Usually this does not trigger the gag reflex and it is quite harmless.
- You can use drinks other than water for this method.
Step 5. Help your child swallow a pill
Children under the age of three may need to take pills. At this age, the child may have trouble understanding why to swallow the pill and may be afraid of choking. If so, help him figure out what's going on. To help her easily swallow the pill, you can tell her to keep the water in her mouth and look up to the ceiling. Then put the pill in her mouth and wait a bit for the pill to drop down her throat. Then ask her to swallow and the pill should go down her throat with the rest of the water.
You can try the above methods with your child unless he or she doesn't like one of them
Method 3 of 3: Try alternative methods
Step 1. Use the bottle method
Fill a plastic bottle with water. Put the pill on your tongue. Then, close your lips by tightening them tightly over the opening of the bottle. Tilt your head back and take a sip of water. Keep your lips on the neck of the bottle and inhale to get the water into your mouth. The water and the pill should pass into your throat.
- Do not allow air to enter the bottle while you are drinking.
- This method works best if you have to swallow a large pill.
- The sucking effect will open your throat and help the pill pass more easily.
- This method should not be used by children. Only adults should try it.
Step 2. Use the forward rocking method
For this method, place the pill on your tongue. Take a sip of water, but do not swallow it yet. Tilt your head down, touching your chin to your chest. Let the pill float in the back of your mouth, then swallow it.
- This method works best with capsules.
- You can try this method with a child. After he takes a sip of the water, have him look on the floor as you slip the pill to the corner of his lips. The pill will float in the water and he can swallow it along with the water.
Step 3. Relax
Anxiety can be a factor that keeps you from swallowing a pill. It is important to relax. If you are anxious your body will tense up and it will be more difficult to swallow the pill. To avoid it, you need to relax. Sit down with a glass of water and do all you can to relax. Find a quiet place, listen to music that relaxes you, or do some meditation.
- This will help calm your nerves and break the connection you make between the pill and a stressor, so your body is less likely to reject it.
- If you are having trouble, you can seek help from a psychologist to help you relax while taking the pill.
- If you are trying to help a child take a pill, help them relax by making them forget about the act by keeping them busy. Read her a story, play a game, or find other activities that help her relax before asking her to take the pill. The calmer he is, the more likely he is to take the pill well.
Step 4. Calm your fears
You might worry that the pill will not pass into your throat, especially if it is rather big. To help you let go of your fears, stand in front of a mirror. Open your mouth and say "ahhhh". This will help you see the size of your throat and then you can be sure that the pill will work fine there.
- You can also use a mirror to place the pill on your tongue. The further back you put it, the less way it will have to go before you swallow it.
- You can also do this with a child who is afraid of choking. Stay close to him to show him that you understand his fears and try to convince him that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Step 5. Find alternatives to pills
There are drugs available in different forms. You may get your medicine as a liquid, patch, cream, inhaler, suppository, or effervescent lozenge to dilute in water. Discuss the different options available with your doctor, especially if you have trouble swallowing the pills, regardless of which method you use.
Do not take a pill using it in a way that has not been approved by your doctor. Do not crush the pill to dilute it manually, and do not use a pill as a suppository if it is not designed for this purpose. Always ask your doctor for advice before changing the way a medicine is administered
- Try to buy coated pills. They slide down your throat more easily and are less likely to leave a bad taste on your tongue if they stay there longer than expected.
- Try to pass the pill with ice soda or something tasty. This will help mask the taste of the pill. Be careful, some medicines cannot be taken with soda or fruit juice. Ask your doctor for advice if you have any doubts.
- You can use these methods to help children swallow pills, unless otherwise specified. However, be careful about the size of the foods you feed to pass the pill.
- Reduce the time the pill spends on your tongue. Get into the habit of putting the pill in your mouth and swallowing it with a sip of water immediately.
- You can also replace the water with lightly chewed bananas in your mouth.
- Use liquid pills or capsules to help you swallow them.
- Do not reduce your pills to powder unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you to. Some medicines can become less effective if you powder them.
- Keep your pills out of the reach of children. There are many flavors that have been added to the pills to make them taste better. Children in particular are fond of these tastes, which can lead to an overdose of medication if ingested uncontrolled. Never let children believe that drugs are candy.
- Never take real pills for workout or for fun.
- Always ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you want to take your pill with anything other than water. There are many medicines that lose their effectiveness or that can even develop unpleasant side effects if you mix them with certain drinks or foods. For example, some antibiotics should never be mixed with dairy products.
- If you continue to have trouble swallowing your pills, you may have dysphagia, a swallowing disorder. Ask your doctor. However, it's important to remember that dysphagia causes swallowing problems with any food, not just pills.
- Do not take pills while lying down. Stand or sit down.