Life can be a hard pill to swallow some days. Things seem to go awry all at the same time or it’s that day where you just keep spilling everything (me this morning…. Insert eye roll. I definitely came into work with an avocado mark on my shirt today). The saying, “it’s a hard pill to swallow” isn’t just a saying because people genuinely cannot swallow a pill. Ever tried taking a prescribed medication from your doctor and it got stuck in your throat? You could feel it just sitting there and you kept chugging water to get it down? It’s uncomfortable and kind of scary.
One in three people gag, vomit, or choke when trying to swallow pills. Part of this reason is that it’s a mind thing. They over think it and just can’t get passed the idea of having to swallow this object. But, give them any food object and they can chew and swallow it no problem. This is because the anticipation builds and they are thinking, “okay, I’m about to swallow a giant blue pill.” When instead they should be thinking, “okay, time for food that my body needs to function correctly.” Our minds love to play games with us and psych us out for no reason.
As they say, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. In this situation, you’re going to be the one getting hurt if you can’t find a method to swallow your pills. If your throat tenses up and you gag when you take pills, chances are you’ll put it off. I get it. I would too. Why force yourself to do something that you hate? Life is too short, right? However, if we don’t follow our medication plan there can be serious consequences and side effects. So, let’s try to avoid those and use these helpful tips for how to swallow medication.
Pill Swallowing Tips
Tip #1 just pretend the pill is a shot of tequila. That’ll make it go down quickly and it was just #NationalTequilaDay this week. So, what better time to practice?!
I’m only kidding of course. We all know that we shouldn’t take our medications with alcohol! So here are the real tips:
- Take several deep breaths to relax your neck and throat muscles. Inhale 5 seconds. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Exhale 4-5 seconds.
- Calm your gag reflex with having an ice cube or popsicle in your mouth for a few minutes’ prior. If you really want to get into this, then just hold an ice pack to both sides of your neck and numb it from the outside.
- Drink some water or juice beforehand. It’ll help ensure that your mouth isn’t sticky and can help the pill go down smoothly.
- Play around with where you place the pill on your tongue. Some people like the middle of the tongue, some like the tip, I prefer just tossing it in, so it goes farther back in my throat and goes down quicker! This one is all trial and error.
- Use a Pill Taker’s Cup. The pill sits on a shelve outside of the liquid. You can put water, juice, lemonade, milk, or whatever you like in the cup to help the process become more enjoyable. Then you just drink as if you were drinking your morning cup of orange juice. The pill will get poured into your mouth with the liquid and you won’t even be able to tell (unless your mind is playing games with you again. Remember think food, not pill!
Make Life Easier
You might be in the 2/3 people that don’t have an issue with swallowing pills and that is awesome! You’ve conquered the task that I feared as a child (don’t worry, I have conquered it too. But I still enjoy some gummy vitamins because it’s like eating healthy gummy bears and who can say no to that?!)
The chances that you know someone that struggles taking pills are fairly good… 33.33% to be exact. It can be a pain for them to step away at meal time to go struggle with that pill. Give a gift. Share this blog with them. Let them know what tips and tools are out there to help their life become a little easier. Life is too short to spend it in a bathroom trying to choke down a pill.
As always, reach out with questions, comments, and personal stories in the comments, social, or email. If you’re curious what vitamin gummies I use, just send me a message and you can join in on my favorite part of my bedtime routine.
Eustice, C. (2018, May 29). Advice for People Who Have Difficulty Swallowing Pills. Retrieved July 26, 2019, [Learn More Here]
Godman, H. (2018, October 26). Two tricks to make it easier to swallow pills. Retrieved July 26, 2019, [Learn More Here]