Counter-intuitively, tipping the head back may exacerbate swallowing difficulties
Take pills with food
Place the pill in soft, mushy food that is meant to be partially chewed (e.g. bananas)
Swallow with water in a different way
Swallow the pill with water sucked through a straw or from a plastic water bottle
Use a lubricant
Spray lubricant (e.g. Pill Glide) in the mouth or spray onto pills (e.g. Spray'n Swallow)
Consider crushing tablet or opening capsule
Some medications may be modified (crushed, opened) and placed in food (e.g. apple sauce, chocolate syrup)
Discuss with pharmacist regarding specific medications
(2015) Presc lett 22(1): 6
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This page was written by Scott Moses, MD, last revised on 1/9/2015 and last published on 8/6/2020.