Those Two tricks will make it easier to swallow big pills!

Struggling to swallow your medication? Here are two easy-to-learn techniques that can help.

Mar 27, 2023 - 10:11
Apr 23, 2023 - 15:19
Those Two tricks will make it easier to swallow big pills!
Suffering from dysphagia? These techniques could make taking your pills easier.

When taking medicine, we sometimes encounter embarrassing situations, such as when a tablet is too large and gets stuck in our throat, causing discomfort while swallowing. As a result, many people may be tempted to break the pills or open the capsules to make it easier to take the medicine. So the question arises in mind: How do you get a big pill to go down? or How do you swallow a thick pill?


Can pills and capsules be broken apart?

Sometimes you may think that can I crush a pill if I can't swallow it?or have you been tempted to open up your medicine to make it easier to swallow? Avoid breaking or opening pills or capsules, particularly for medicines labeled as "sustained-release/enteric-coated/controlled-release". These drugs have specially designed outer skins that adjust the dissolution rate and site in the human body to protect the medicine and allow it to work where needed. Breaking them may remove this protective layer, rendering them ineffective and potentially harmful to healthy organs.

Some tablets have a notch on the surface that allows them to be broken and taken, but you should verify this by carefully reading the instructions. As for capsules, it is not recommended to break them open and take the medicine powder with water, even if they don't have words like "slow-release/controlled-release/enteric-coated".


Than what should I do if the medicine is too large to swallow?

There are two scientific ways you can try to swallow a big pill:
  1. Pop-Bottle method to swallow pills.
  2. Lean-forward method to swallow pills.

Researchers at Heidelberg University analyzed 151 adults who were given 16 different placebo pills. They found that inflating the drink bottle method worked best for people who took pills regularly, while tilting the head forward helped the volunteers swallow the capsules.

According to media reports, someone swallowing pills may encounter a situation where the pills get stuck in the throat, causing them to feel nauseous and afraid. A new study offers a glimmer of hope for solving this problem.

While some people suffer from dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing caused by a medical condition, for most people it is simply a psychological barrier. Conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson's disease can also cause difficulty swallowing. German scientists believe they have found a new, easy-to-learn way to help people take pills more easily.

Dr. Walter Hafeli, who led the study and is a scientist at the University of Heidelberg, said that this method will help people who have difficulty swallowing medicine to complete the medicine process smoothly. He said that some patients, approximately 10%, use difficulty swallowing as an excuse to avoid taking their medicine.

The study looked at 151 adults, analyzing how easily they swallowed traditionally shaped tablets and capsules by giving them placebos in 16 different shapes. The results showed that both drugs were most effective when taken with at least 20ml of water, which is the equivalent of a tablespoon of water. After taking each drug, participants rated how easy it was to swallow.

The researchers asked volunteers to swallow pills and capsules in specific positions and found that the best way to take chalky pills was with a "pop bottle" method.

In Pop Bottle technique,

  • The tablet is placed on the tongue. 
  • The lips are closed against the mouth of the bottle.
  • The tablet is swallowed in a rapid inhalation motion.

However, for swallowing capsules, a "lean forward" approach was found to be the most effective.

In Lean Forward technique,

  • The tablet is placed on the tongue. 
  • Take water and keep the lips closed.
  • And the medicine is swallowed with the body upright and the head tilted forward.

During the study, volunteers tried both the "pop bottle" and "lean forward" techniques and rated how easy it was to swallow the medicine. Sixty percent of volunteers who used the inflatable drink bottle technology said it was easy to swallow the medicine. Meanwhile, 88 percent of volunteers who used the head-forward technique said it was easier to swallow.

Hafeli told The Guardian: "The two techniques we described were particularly effective in our participants. Most people who used them reported ease of swallowing. We should always advise people to use them. The choice of which method to use depends on the shape of the drug. Capsules with a lower concentration than water will float in the mouth, so it is more appropriate to choose the head-forward method. In contrast, for swallowing tablets, which are almost always higher than water concentration, you must let the drug rush down the throat. It's a tapered passage that goes from the nose and mouth to the throat and esophagus. We found it more difficult to swallow round pills."

The journal Annals of Family Medicine published a study which shows that two techniques designed for swallowing pills and capsules are highly effective and can be easily adopted by the general population, including patients with dysphagia.


FAQ's on Swallow Pills:

Can I dissolve pills in water?

It depends on the specific medication. Some medications can be safely dissolved in water or other liquids, while others may lose their effectiveness or become harmful if dissolved. It's important to check with a healthcare professional or pharmacist before dissolving any medication in water to make sure it's safe to do so. They can provide specific instructions on how to take the medication and any precautions you need to take.


What is the phobia of swallowing large pills?

The phobia of swallowing large pills is called pill phobia, dysphagia, or odynophagia. Dysphagia refers to difficulty in swallowing, while odynophagia refers to pain while swallowing. Pill phobia is a fear of taking medication in any form, including swallowing pills.

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Sakib I am Sajedul Islam Sakib from Bangladesh. Currently I am a student at software engineer but also I like reading and learning new things, especially about Blogging and Education.