Gransnet forums


Swallowing Tablets

(43 Posts)
BlueSky Wed 08-Jan-20 10:02:13

Anybody has trouble with swallowing tablets? I don't mean the larger antibiotic type but the ordinary sized painkiller etc? Not sure whether I got a phobia now but I had to resort to soluble tablets wherever possible. Luckily my medication pills are tiny. Another side effect of getting old?

nanaK54 Wed 08-Jan-20 10:32:11

Have you tried drinking from a bottle?

Squiffy Wed 08-Jan-20 10:32:12

I heard recently that, apparently, it's better to swallow tablets with your head tipped very slightly forward rather than backwards. Tipping backwards closes off the 'tube' a bit. It does seem to work for me, so perhaps it's worth trying?

JackyB Wed 08-Jan-20 10:42:51

Both my parents had trouble with this towards the end of their life which makes seem that it could well be due to age. My DF also had trouble swallowing chunkier food.

I have one sort of tablet which is not coated in anything and which which I find hard to swallow. Then I remembered our first aid course when I was in the Guides where we were shown to crush tablets between two teaspoons. I tried that but lost lots of the contents over the edge, so now I just take them into my mouth whole and bite them into smaller pieces and wash them down with lots of water.

Oldwoman70 Wed 08-Jan-20 11:24:19

I have always had difficulty swallowing pills - I think it is psychological as if I take them with food I don't have a problem.

tiredoldwoman Wed 08-Jan-20 11:28:31

My swallow seems to freeze when taking tablets , so I chew a small bite of food and just when it's at the swallow stage I pop my tablets into my mouth and down it all goes together .

Bossyrossy Wed 08-Jan-20 11:39:42

My son had a phobia about swallowing pills and when he was 16 I had to ask the chemist what the recommended dose of Calpol would be for him, it was the only medication he would take. Can’t remember how many 5ml spoonfuls it was but I had to buy several bottles of the stuff.

whywhywhy Wed 08-Jan-20 11:42:55

Can you get the tablets that dissolve in water? Just a thought. Sorry I don’t have a solution as I don’t have that problem. X

Hetty58 Wed 08-Jan-20 11:52:12

My friend breaks tablets into pieces then puts them in chunks of food. She drinks some water, eats a chunk - and repeats!

sodapop Wed 08-Jan-20 12:04:40

My husband puts his tablets in a banana

Septimia Wed 08-Jan-20 12:27:19

An elderly lady I used to visit (when in my teens, so a long time ago) said that her GP had advised to swallow tablets with milk rather than water. As it's that bit thicker it apparently helps to carry the tablet down better than water.

EllanVannin Wed 08-Jan-20 12:36:01

I throw my head back and they're gone. Larger ones I break in two, like the enormous paracetamol ones when I couldn't get the " tube " ones. Otherwise I don't have a problem.

gillyknits Wed 08-Jan-20 12:41:47

My daughter found it very difficult to swallow tablets and a friend suggested she tried practicing by swallowing peas with a large glass of water ! It actually worked. Probably because you know that the peas won’t be horrible if they get stuck .

rowanflower0 Wed 08-Jan-20 12:43:17

I can only swallow tablets with food that I 'pre-chew' before popping in the tablet - no good of it has to be taken on an empty stomach though ! - when I have to chew it to bits first.

Dottynan Wed 08-Jan-20 12:49:35

Try taking them with a fizzy drink

GagaJo Wed 08-Jan-20 12:50:09

When I had problems like this, I would just gently crush the tablets under a glass or cup on a chopping board then try to mix them with fizzy drink. They taste foul but the drink covers it a bit. They mix a little better in fizzy. It saves the gagging.

BlueSky Wed 08-Jan-20 12:52:19

Thanks everybody interesting solutions will definitely try them!

midgey Wed 08-Jan-20 13:18:33

Need to be wary of chewing tablets as many are designed to be slow release and have a coating specifically made for this. DH has a problem with swallowing, he has been advised to use a spoonful of yoghurt.

Calendargirl Wed 08-Jan-20 13:23:01

Certain tablets say to be taken whole, not chewed.

TrendyNannie6 Wed 08-Jan-20 13:27:43

That’s interesting Septimia n Squiffy will try and remember this

Tapdance6 Wed 08-Jan-20 13:27:58

I always take any tablets with a mouthful of coca cola this helps them go down quicker and they don't leave an aftertaste in your mouth.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 08-Jan-20 13:28:52

I've had this problem for me for a long time. I think it's partly psychological - I worry that a tablet will get stuck - so the tablet gets stuck.
It's mostly all right to pull capsules apart and take them the Mary Poppins way with a spoonful of sugar or jam. Failing that there's custard which is thicker than water. Then there's a small bite of something dry like a cream cracker, bite it into smaller pieces and just before you're ready to swallow, bung the table in and take a big gulp. Mostly this works for me - I tell myself that I can do it.
When I was on chemo I asked for the take-away medication to be liquid. Thirty tablets at breakfast time was a nightmare. Thank God that's over. Good luck.

NanaandGrampy Wed 08-Jan-20 13:30:18

I have always had trouble swallowing pills and must be the only old lady to get her penicillin for tonsillitis in liquid form! You’d be surprised at how many spoonfuls an adult dose is 😁

My top tip is to take your pills followed by a mouthful of one of the thicker , more viscous juices like tomato or peach. The fact that the liquid is thicker seems to make it easier to ignore there’s a pill in there too!

Hope it helps.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 08-Jan-20 13:30:33

That obviously should be 'bung the tablet in' - I couldn't swallow a table in one go - even if it was made of cheese!

tiredoldwoman Wed 08-Jan-20 13:38:29

There was an old woman
who could swallow a table ,
goodness knows
how she was able .