Pharmacology Book


Difficulty Swallowing Pill

Aka: Difficulty Swallowing Pill, Difficulty Swallowing Tablet, Difficulty Swallowing Capsule
  1. Approach: Pearls
    1. Change head position
      1. Tip head forward
      2. Turn head to one side (left or right)
      3. Counter-intuitively, tipping the head back may exacerbate swallowing difficulties
    2. Take pills with food
      1. Place the pill in soft, mushy food that is meant to be partially chewed (e.g. bananas)
    3. Swallow with water in a different way
      1. Swallow the pill with water sucked through a straw or from a plastic water bottle
    4. Use a lubricant
      1. Spray lubricant (e.g. Pill Glide) in the mouth or spray onto pills (e.g. Spray'n Swallow)
    5. Consider crushing tablet or opening capsule
      1. Some medications may be modified (crushed, opened) and placed in food (e.g. apple sauce, chocolate syrup)
      2. Discuss with pharmacist regarding specific medications
  2. References
    1. (2015) Presc lett 22(1): 6

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