Difficult Pill to Swallow?

Tips to help the medication go down easier

Most medications and supplements are put in tablet or capsule because they are bitter and unpalatable.  Swallowing capsules and tablets can be difficult for many people.  Sometime this is because of the size of the dosage form and other times it is because the ability to swallow pills has never been learned.  Certain medical conditions can also make swallowing difficult.

Most of the time children require or prefer liquid medications or chewable tablets because they have not yet learned how to swallow medications.  We also often have requests from teenagers and adults for liquid versions of medications.  Many times these individuals find it embarrassing to ask for a liquid form or ask for help.

Tips to help with swallowing difficulties:

– It can be easier to swallow tablets and capsules by placing them on yogurt, pudding, or apple sauce
– If you are learning, using a Tic Tac or small mint can be helpful to practice with
– try inserting the capsule or tablet into a piece of bun or cheese
– sit down and relax, don’t rush
– Use water or juice before, during and after as needed

Techniques

There are different techniques that can be used to learn to swallow capsules and tablets.  The University of Calgary along with the Alberta Children’s Hospital put together a website with techniques and tools.

This website is also very helpful.

Custom Compounding

In certain cases it can be appropriate to custom compound a different dosage form of a medication.  These can include creams, capsules, troches, gummy or liquid dosage forms.  In these cases we work with you to find a solution to the issue and find the dosage form that will work best to deliver the medication.  We have different flavor options, capsule sizes and a variety of other tools at our disposal.  For more information about this service please contact us or visit our website.

Written by Randy Howden. Visit me on

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