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Trouble with swallowing pills

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Old 03-10-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
Local Girl
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 20
Local Girl HB User
Trouble with swallowing pills

I can't swallow pills. I don't even try. I get liquid or chewable medications when they are available. When they're not available I crush the pill with a mortar and pestle (kitchen tools meant for crushing herbs). But that's a lot of effort and they don't always crush very thoroughly.

I doubt there is anything wrong with me physically that causes this. But when I was younger I had a couple of incidents of large pills getting stuck in my throat and giving me panic attacks. And now, like I said, I don't even try to swallow a pill, unless it's a teensy eensy itty bitty one.

Who else has this difficulty? I read on a website that 40% of adults have trouble swallowing pills. (I also read on a website that 90% of all internet statistics are made up ... including this one.)

Anybody have one of those fancy pill crushers I see advertised? Are they worth the money? How about the cheaper ones you can get at a drug store? Are they any improvement over the mortar and pestle I'm using now?


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Old 03-10-2009, 06:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 165
greengrass HB User
Re: Trouble with swallowing pills

Hi Local girl

Please be careful when crushing pills, some are designed to slowly desolve to give a slow release into your system i.e. so you do not overdose. Some pills are enteric coated these are designed to not be digested in your stomach but in your intestine, this is to stop your stomch getting irritated.

Always ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to crush. You need to relearn how to take pills with plenty of water. Most are now coated for easy swallow.

Old 03-11-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: California
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schatzi08 HB User
Re: Trouble with swallowing pills

Hi there,
I never really had a problem with swallowing pills until I was prescribed a medication with the oddest shaped pill (like three triangles connected to each other) which was also quite large. I learned through trial and error to get it down by first, taking a big swig of water, swallowing it, then placing the pill as far down my tongue as I possibly can . Then calmly take another drink of water. I think it's really important to relax when doing this. It should go down without problems. This might prove to be difficult if you have a sensitive gag reflex, but if your careful to not touch the back of your throat, it might work for you. I know I can feel my taste buds when placing the pill in my throat.Maybe have someone with you the first few times you try it until your comfortable with the procedure. I know people can teach themselves to take pills as I helped a good friend with the same problem. She also had a sensitive gag reflex, but overcame her fear of large pills.

I also heartily agree with greengrass that you need to know which pills can be crushed.Many are meant to be taken whole for the reasons already stated in her post.

To your health,

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