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Two tricks to make it easier to swallow pills

April 16, 2020

About the Author

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Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Heidi Godman is the executive editor of the Harvard Health Letter. Before coming to the Health Letter, she was an award-winning television news anchor and medical reporter for 25 years. Heidi was named a journalism fellow … See Full Bio
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January 7, 2015

Swallow pills is very disgusting for. I don`t like to take this pills.But after knowing these two tricks about swallow pills it has become very easy for me.

January 6, 2015

I find swallowing circle shaped pills, a tad difficult.
But rolled shaped I have no problem just can not work out why.

stenny fandy
January 3, 2015

really nice information! i have always have a problem when taking those pills. now i will keep sure to try this tips. thank you so much!

Avinash Dhameliya
December 17, 2014

Nice information, good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need; ,……!

clifford morse, HGSD 1955
December 15, 2014

Here I am at age 85, waiting for our 50th wedding anniversity next March. My height is now 72 inches and my weight has come down to 174lbs. My hair is grey, straight and ample. My skin
is smooth,wrinkle-free, without moles, pimples or lines. But I do have circles under my eyes.

There are many deficiencies in my bodily functions. Reading glases, COPD, prostatitis, incipient
liver problems and diabetes, triple bypass, heart disease, a crushed vertebra, walking straight.

My sexual activities have reduced to day-dreaming, recalling my three middle decades of my life
when I was rampant continually, but now un able to coerce my wife to share intercourse occasionally. I need to devise some way of assuring her that sex would not kill me!

December 7, 2014

I didn’t know there are others too who can’t swallow pills !! it’s nightmare for me , very annoying . I surely try these technique hope it helps thanks

November 23, 2014

Thanks for this article and the comments. I have difficulty swallowing x 2… scleroderma and a site from a tracheostomy. I found Greek (thicker) yoghurt helps and it’s easy to keep fresh in the fridge. Also, I found small high-quality caplets of vitamins (Rainbow Light Mini Tablets, calcium/magnesium (New Chapter Bone Strength), and soft gel ibuprofen (Walgreens and other stores). Best regards to all.

November 21, 2014

My mother and I had this problem with overlarge vitamin pills. A very simple solution (overlooked for years by us) was to buy the chewable vitamins that are berry flavored with the consistency of gummy bears.

Bonnie Kaplan
November 20, 2014

Although I appreciate the thoughtful article, I do think that the method we are using up here in Canada has a close to 100% success rate, and people love it. And we have posted a training video — perhaps people who do not succeed with the pop bottle system might like to take a look:

November 18, 2014

Thanks 😀

November 17, 2014

I’m an SLP and I have terrible difficulty with pills of any size. So bad that I am in the percentage of those that gag the pills back into the oral cavity and often vomit . I also gag when brushing my teeth so my gag is hypersensitive . However, I have found the Valsalva in conjunction with the Masako techniques help aide swallowing pills for me but I would say at about 75% . So will definitely try your bento ones techniques about the water bottle as I have tried the second me to ones technique but has not worked for me

November 17, 2014

I’m a SLP and I have difficulty swallowing pills. I always thought it was a psychological thing but I had to have my esophagus stretched last year because I all of a sudden couldn’t swallow one night.

November 17, 2014

I have MS and have trouble swallowing pills . I found your article very informative . Thanks for the tips.

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November 17, 2014

It’s hard to imagine that somebody may have problems with swallowing medicines, but this article may be useful and helpful for people who had not such an experience before)

Joshua Vogel
November 16, 2014

Just a tip for other who might read this. I find that swallowing just one pill will always get stuck. But I was very surprised to learn that swallowing 2-3 pills at a time is MUCH easier!! I know, it doesn’t make sense, but it works, try it out.

Isobel staude
November 14, 2014

This is amazing! I have always battled to swallow pills. Both these ways of swallowing have helped me tremendously. Thank-you!

November 14, 2014

My trick is to take a mouthful of food and chew it really well. Then put the pill in and swallow it all together. I never have a problem. If it’s something really delicious this method can encourage a child like nothing else.

November 16, 2014

I use this technique to take pills when I am lazy to go and get a cup of water.

November 13, 2014

These harvard newsletters are invaluable and a great source of knowledge. I was especially pleased to learn about difficulty in swallowing. I have a paralysed larynx and an atrophied vocal cord so even eating normal food is a difficulty. Once again many thanks indeed.

November 13, 2014

With my dad with LBd that monster form of Parkinson’s I have to take a bottle cap place the pills in so he can take them. He has to be told to tilt his head so the swallow happens. When he was in the rehab I call dying centers they presumed he had a swallowing silent aspiration. I knew it was different. He has had a narrow opening in throat like I do from sinus conditions. He has had clear chest x’rays. I always appreciate learning everything I can to aide my dad and myself live a better life. Sincerely Michelle who was just a associates of science in medical administration studies who feels more like a Nurse than daughter.

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