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Why are vitamin tablets so HUGE?

(23 Posts)
ExD Tue 02-Mar-21 13:03:32

Just before the first lockdown I broke my back and though I was very lucky and can still walk I'm in constant pain. I lost my appetite and am now 2 stone underweight at 6 stone, but I just don't feel hungry and have to force myself to eat.
Obviously I am now tired all the time and am fretting that I'm lacking vitamins. Hoping they might kickstart my appetite I bought some multivitamins, but they are the size of horse pills and friends say they are all that size.
Do any of you know of a firm that sells 'normal' sized tablets? The only 'health' shop in our town is Holland and Barrett's, but they haven't been able to help. I'd be happy to take 2 smaller pills than try to swallow these.
Somehow cutting them in half makes it worse, I gag and bring them back up again. sad
My GP says 'eat three meals a day including lots of leafy green vegetables and you won't need pills.'

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 02-Mar-21 13:07:14

I think that your GP is right , however we buy the Bassetts multi vitamin chewy sweets, they taste good ( fruit) and you can get them in supermarkets and chemists.
I can’t swallow vitamin tablets either, if you look on the Amazon site you might find some smaller pills on there.

BlueBelle Tue 02-Mar-21 13:13:48

I take Vit D tiny, Vit B12 tiny, and chewable Vit C I buy them all at Savers or Superdrug They do multi vits too but I think (personally) it’s just better to have the vits you think you need
Immune system, bone strength etc

EllanVannin Tue 02-Mar-21 13:13:52

Get a bottle of Minadex---if it's still sold. Parrish's Food was also used after an illness to liven up the appetite.

Small appetising meals---on a side-plate to start with and eat whatever you fancy at the time. A trip to M&S to see their array of food will encourage the appetite back.

Galaxy Tue 02-Mar-21 13:15:24

My vitamins are tiny, - superdrug or boots own brand.

lemsip Tue 02-Mar-21 13:26:05

there are plenty of multi vits out there that are not huge so would like to know what it was that you took that were so big?
I take selenium, vit d both tiny. echinacea capsule small .

Metatone tonic is good for recovery from illness. google it. also Floradix tonic

Kamiso Tue 02-Mar-21 13:26:52

The only large one I have is Glucosamine. The latest ones were supposed to be smaller. They are a little smaller but probably too large if you find it difficult to swallow.

They make a big difference to my achey joints! Certainly noticed a big difference when I forgot to pack any for a holiday and when I was unwell before Christmas and couldn’t keep anything down. Vit D3 are tiny.

BlueSky Tue 02-Mar-21 13:29:05

I’ve got a similar problem ExD I’ve finally found effervescent Vit tablets from H&B, they make a pleasant orangey fizzy drink. I even take soluble paracetamol tablets!

keepingquiet Tue 02-Mar-21 13:32:02

I agree with BlueBelle. Isolate the vitamins you feel your body needs and just take those in small amounts. Multi vits are often full of fillers you don't need and pay a fortune for. A lot of vitamins are not stored in the body anyway and you just wee them out.
I only take Vit D for bones and healthy immune system.
Also a healthy diet requires much more than vitamins which need food to help absorption anyway.
My sister recently had mouth surgery and lost her sense of taste and couldn't eat solids.
She maintained her healthy weight with protein shakes and home-made soups and pureed food.
Real food in small amounts is what you need and not quick fix empty vitamins. Try that and your appetite should come back.

Tea3 Tue 02-Mar-21 13:34:32

Massive sympathy! I’ve been there. I didn’t start to eat properly until I took up swimming. It makes you feel hungry with the added benefit of helping the back. Clearly not an option at present (and my back feels the loss) but hopefully pools will open next month.

NellG Tue 02-Mar-21 13:34:36

Multibionta isn't bad size wise. If not the gel capsule type are easier to swallow. They also contain probiotics which might help your appetite and any digestion problems from painkillers and mobility issues.

Appetite wise, could you try milkshakes? If you were to add the Slimming type shakes on top of normal meals they would bulk up your calories and nutrition as they are fortified. Managing a poor appetite is so hard, just as hard as managing a big one!

If not shakes, there are fortified soups, snack bars etc.

I would suggest Ensure, which does exactly the same thing but is notoriously disgusting to drink.

ExD Tue 02-Mar-21 13:38:39

You don't reach our age without taking in in the basic rules of nutrition, but a GP who tells a patient with a low appetite problem to eat three square meals a day, lacks empathy. IMO.
I requested a blood test to see whether or not I do lack vitamins, but was discouraged by being told it would be an unnecessary exposure to infection - which I understand - so am going it alone for now.
Thanks to those of you who have recommended tablets, I might try to buy them online as I'm still being seriously cautious about visiting the shops.

EllanVannin Tue 02-Mar-21 13:43:53

ExD Minadex is sold online and is a tonic, which to my mind, is what you need.

Jaxjacky Tue 02-Mar-21 14:11:37

Floradix Epresat, liquid multivitamin from Boots.

nadateturbe Tue 02-Mar-21 15:01:21

Supermarkets do own brand which are small and cheap. I often wonder are they as good as expensive ones like Sanatogen.
My husband takes them. I just try to eat well. I only take vitamin D.

Greyduster Tue 02-Mar-21 15:11:58

My GS takes a chewable multivitamin every day - he can’t swallow even the smallest whole tablets.

ExD Wed 03-Mar-21 15:18:16

Its only since I got older I found swallowing difficult. Asda and Morrisons own tablets are too big for me (those are the only 2 supermarkets available to me). I can cope with something like the paracetamol capsules (not capLETS) but they are my limit now.
My Mum could swallow tablets by the handfull without water! She used to tell me to persevere!

MamaCaz Wed 03-Mar-21 17:19:45

As I child and even a teenager, I found it almost impossible to swallow tablets. However small they were, and however much water I drank with them, they just stuck in my throat and wouldn't go down.

Nowadays, I can usually manage small to medium tablets with water (finally mastered this on the maternity ward when given the tiny iron tablets to take), but anything larger and I have to resort to popping them in my mouth as I am about to swallow a mouthful of food. It's the only way they will go down!

Even then, yes, the huge tablets can be a struggle, but I manage with food and a back-up glass of water.

Luckygirl Wed 03-Mar-21 17:20:09

I take Barretts vitamins which come as a pastille to suck.

BlueSky Wed 03-Mar-21 18:13:49


Its only since I got older I found swallowing difficult. Asda and Morrisons own tablets are too big for me (those are the only 2 supermarkets available to me). I can cope with something like the paracetamol capsules (not capLETS) but they are my limit now.
My Mum could swallow tablets by the handfull without water! She used to tell me to persevere!

I’m the same now ExD! Anybody has an explanation why this happens when we are older? My DH is like your mum!

MayBee70 Wed 03-Mar-21 18:23:14

A lot of companies do show tablet size: I think Holland and Barrett do. I buy my vitamins online from Natures Best and many tablets are soft gel ones. A surprisingly large number of people struggle with swallowing large tablets. For some strange reason I’ve found that I can swallow huge ones now, something I couldn’t do before. I think it’s driven by sheer desperation now that I no longer go shopping and if I buy something that’s too big I manage to get it down. You can also buy a lot of vitamins in spray form although I never quite feel that I’ve taken anything when I do that!

MayBee70 Sun 07-Mar-21 13:24:18

Something crossed my mind last night as I was taking my multitude of supplements. I assume everyone knows that most tablets can be easily broken in two by pressing them between your fingers? I tried it with a huge VitC tablet that broke quite easily.

ExD Wed 10-Mar-21 14:26:02

Didn't the sharp edges scrape your gullet and didn't they stick crossways whilst you drank a whole glass of water?