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5 Easy Ways to Swallow Pills

We’ve all heard the phrase, “take a chill pill.” While it’s a common adage to encourage relaxation, for many of us actually taking pills is hardly a relaxing process. According to MedScape, 44 percent of all Americans take at least one prescription medication, while the New York Times says that nearly 40 percent of Americans have difficulty taking pills. 

But there’s good news! The problem is so common that a tremendous amount of research has been done to explore methods that make swallowing pills easier. 

Before we get into easy ways to swallow pills, it’s important to address the method of dry swallowing, which is the process of taking a pill without washing it down with any water or liquid. Healthcare providers warn that this is an extremely uncomfortable way to take a pill, and also very dangerous as it increases the chances of a pill getting lodged in your throat. To avoid that discomfort and risk, try the following five suggestions for easy and successful ways to swallow pills.

1. Start small

It’s not uncommon for the fear of swallowing pills to cause anxiety, keeping people from taking the medicine they need to either stay healthy or feel better. Like any skill, just start small. Try swallowing a sprinkle, tic tac, or small piece of candy to get your body used to the sensation.  

2. Drink a full glass of water
The most common way to take a pill is to put it on your tongue and wash it down with water. It’s important to drink the entire glass of water to reduce the risk of the pill getting stuck and ensure the medication is in your system and able to work properly.

3. Lean forward

Another very successful method for swallowing pills is known as the lean forward method. To do this, place the pill on your tongue, take a small sip of water, and as you swallow begin to tilt your chin toward your chest and lean forward slightly.

4. Mix with soft foods

Sometimes, just knowing that we’re swallowing a pill can make it difficult. Many people find success burying the pill in food with a softer consistency such as a smoothie, yogurt, pudding, or applesauce. If doing this with a whole pill is still too difficult, consult your healthcare provider about cutting the pill into smaller pieces or grinding before burying it into your food.

5. Use a straw

If your pill is small enough, try dropping it into your full glass of water and drinking it through a straw. The distraction of using a straw could make the process much easier (and even a little fun!). 

If you’re still having trouble taking your pills, talk with your healthcare provider about medication that’s easier to swallow. Ultimately, being transparent about your situation is important so you can find the right solution for you together.

For more tips and articles on healthy living, please visit scrippsamg.com.

CATEGORIES: Managing IllnessSeniors & Caregivers

 

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