Can't Swallow Pills? Liquid and Chewable Medicine

The white and brown calcium tablet is coated but its size can still be difficult to swallow.  The gummy vitamin is chewable and easier to get down. The pink allergy medicine is small, but the orange tablet melts in your mouth and does not need water.
The white and brown calcium tablet is coated but its size can still be difficult to swallow. The gummy vitamin is chewable and easier to get down. The pink allergy medicine is small, but the orange tablet melts in your mouth and does not need water. | Source

Easy to Swallow Medicine for Adults

Some people have a hard time swallowing pills and tablets, and feel like they are choking every time they take one. They may have tried crushing pills and tolerate the bitter taste, or practice swallowing M&Ms. Eventually, most of them learn how to relax their throat and take the dreaded medicine.

However, there are quite a few adults who continue to have difficulty in swallowing pills and tablets. They feel like they are choking every time they try.

Manufacturers understand this issue, and try to provide smaller pills and tablets, and formulate the medicine into gel caps which are oval in shape and coated in order to make them easier to swallow. These make the situation easier, but some people cannot swallow them either. The large calcium tablet is coated, but the large size makes it difficult to swallow.

People who find it difficult to swallow tablets and pills hope to find liquid or chewable medicine to relieve whatever ails them.

Chewable Vitamins

Let's face it, vitamins pills can be pretty big, and difficult to swallow. In fact, prenatal vitamins were the first medicine I had to find a way to swallow. I was not aware of chewable options, and when I asked my doctor for an easier to swallow option, he prescribed smaller pills that still required swallowing whole.

Chewable vitamins were first formulated for children, but there are many that are on the market for adults as well. Centrum even provides chewable vitamins for seniors. The chewable vitamins come in two different ways that both resemble candy. One is a tablet that is similar to Smarties Candies but slightly larger. The other looks and tastes like gummy candy. They both come in a variety of shapes and flavors such as berry and orange.

All multivitamins come with different amount and number of vitamins, so check the ingredient list to be sure that the one you chose has the vitamins you want. I personally don't like the flavor of iron, but my daughter doesn't have any issue with it. Since these vitamins are like candy, be sure to follow the dosage requirements and put them out of reach of children to avoid overdose.

Some tablets may be chalky, but none were bad enough for me to stop using them. I don't particularly care for the taste of iron in a chewable vitamin, but was able to tolerate it when the berry flavor is strong enough to override it. Also some gummy vitamins can be sticky and stick to dental work.

Pain Relievers on Amazon

16 Oz bottle Acetaminophen Cherry Flavored Liquid
16 Oz bottle Acetaminophen Cherry Flavored Liquid

This liquid Cherry Flavored Acetaminophen relieves pain for adults and is easier to swallow than a pill or tablet.

 
Icy Hot Medicated Spray, 4-Ounce Aerosol (Pack of 4)
Icy Hot Medicated Spray, 4-Ounce Aerosol (Pack of 4)

The Icy Hot Spray can be sprayed directly to the muscle ache. No pills to swallow!

 

Easy to Swallow Pain Reliever

Manufacturers have been making chewable pain relievers for children, but it can be difficult to find a pain reliever that is easy to swallow. There is chewable aspirin for adults, but it is a low dose that is used to help people with heart problems. It can relieve pain associated with headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, and cramps but it may take several tablets to make a difference. Aspirin can also upset your stomach.

Tylenol makes a liquid pain reliever for adults, called Rapid Blast, but it is is often difficult to find on store shelves. In fact, I couldn't find it on Amazon either. They do have a couple of other liquid acetaminophen options that can work as a substitute.

If you have back pain or muscle aches, you can use a heat patch, cream, gel, roll-on, or spray to apply to the area and avoid taking any medicine internally.

Chewable Fiber

Fiber helps you feel fuller, so you may eat less, and it keeps you regular.

VitaFusion Weight Management makes sugar-free fiber gummies that are like the gummy vitamins, and even include some B vitamins which help you sustain your energy levels.

Fiber Choice has fruit flavored chewable tablets.

As with all fiber medication, be sure to take with plenty of water and don't exceed the recommended dosage.

Disintegrating Allergy Tablets

Most allergy medicine is pretty small to begin with, so it isn't very difficult to swallow, but there are still other options that doesn't involve swallowing a pill whole. The easy to swallow allergy medicine we found easily dissolves in your mouth. You don't even have to chew it. This is really helpful for people who have a hard time swallowing, but they are also convenient to take on the run without water. Whenever I feel like a sneeze coming on in a meeting, I can easily pop one of these in my mouth and avoid an allergy attack.

Both the Claritin and the Alavert have a mild flavor and the medicine lasts for 24 hours. Both of them are non-drowsy formulas so I don't fall asleep in the meetings either!

Liquid and Chewable Antacids

If you have an upset stomach, there are chewable and liquid antacids that will neutralize the acid and quickly relieve the bloating, indigestion, and gas. These are easily available at grocery stores, department stores, and even convenience stores. Some of the chewable antacids even have calcium so you can get vitamins while you are soothing your tummy.

Most of these tablets come in a variety of flavors. Most are dry tablets, like Smarties candy, and some of them can feel chalky or gritty, so you may have to try a few brands to see which ones you like best. There are also liquid options if you cannot tolerate the chewable ones.

Cold Medicine

If you have a cold, consider yourself lucky because there are many options that do not require you to swallow a pill. Cold medicine comes in liquid form. Some varieties of liquid cold medicine have alcohol in it, so be sure to check the label if you want to avoid alcohol. Zicam offers a chewable cold medicine, and Alka Seltzer offers an effervescent tablet that will melt in water.

Also don't forget the old standby, Vicks VapoRub which is applied externally on your chest. Vicks now makes a humidifier and if you put VapoSteam or Kaz Inhalant in the medicine cup, it will produce a medicated vapor that may soothe your dry throat and cough, and provide some relief with nasal congestion.

Source

Swallowing Aids from Amazon

Swallow Aid
Swallow Aid

Use this to add a pleasant flavor to bad tasting medicine and stimulate saliva flow to make it easier to swallow pills and tablets.

 
Oralflo Pill Swallowing Cup
Oralflo Pill Swallowing Cup

The swallowing cup helps direct the medicine to glide more smoothly down your throat.

 
Pill Glide Spray - Strawberry Flavor 1oz
Pill Glide Spray - Strawberry Flavor 1oz

The swallowing spray works like the gel to add a pleasant flavor and make the medicine glide down easily.

 

Swallow Aids

There are a lot of alternatives to swallowing pills, such as disintegrating or chewable tablets, and liquids, as well as rubs and sprays that can be used externally. Unfortunately, not every medicine is available in an easy to swallow version. Prescription medicine is particularly difficult to find in other versions.

When you can't find a suitable alternative, there are aids on the market that are designed to help make swallowing pills easier. There is a gel and a spray that helps provide moisture and avoid the choking feeling. There is also a cup that will help direct the pill down your throat. The cup is rated highly and seems more economical since it does not involve purchasing gels and liquids that may expire before you need them. I haven't tried these, but they may help when you can't find an easy to swallow substitute.

How Old Were You When You Learned to Swallow Pills and Tablets?

  • 0-9 years old
  • 10-19 years old
  • 20-29 years old
  • over 30 years old
  • I haven't learned how yet
See results without voting

Easy to Swallow Medicine

We've come a long way from the time I was trying to swallow those horse-size prenatal vitamins. Today, my daughter has many more options, and she has not had to learn how to swallow tablets and pills. So far, we have managed to find easier to swallow alternatives for her.

Today, medicine is available in gummies, disintegrating tablets, liquid, spray, gel, gum, and so many other ways that you can endure your illness without the added trauma of choking on pills and tablets.

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Comments: "Can't Swallow Pills? Liquid and Chewable Medicine" 24 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 20 months ago from USA Author

peachpurple - oh how awful. I hope these substitutes will provide some relief of whatever ails you without having the additional issue of taking hard-to-swallow pills.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 20 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i always feel nausea when trying swallow pills, great recommendation


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 22 months ago from USA Author

Lorelei, thank you for confirming that the pills were indeed getting larger and it wasn't just my imagination! The gummy vitamins that they make for adults taste good and give you the nutrients you need to be healthy.


Lorelei Cohen profile image

Lorelei Cohen 23 months ago from Canada

I switched to gummy vitamins about two years ago and will never go back to the old bulky pills (which were indeed growing larger with each passing year). I asked the pharmacist why pills seemed so huge now and he told me that as health guidelines have changed vitamins supplements have as well. There are now more ingredients in them making them larger and more difficult for people to swallow.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA Author

Thank you for that information, chemoangel. It is unfortunate that Tylenol liquid pain medication is not available.


chemoangel 2 years ago

Sadly, Tylenol, Liquid Cherry Blast adult pain medication is no longer made or available in stores. I now have to take the "CVS, or Walgreens, or Walmart brand" which they claim is the same, but sadly doesn't work like the original.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Alexandry, you are definitely not alone. Fortunately, manufacturers are now learning this and offering liquid or chewable medicine for adults. I don't think that there is an easy to swallow option for all medicines for adults yet, but they are getting there.

Conleys Review, the pill swallowing cup is a perfect way to handle those medicines that don't have an easy to swallow option..

Thank you both for your comments.


Conleys Review profile image

Conleys Review 3 years ago from Florida

I had a serious problem swallowing pills and ordered the Oralflo Pill Swallowing Cup and found that it is a perfect way for all ages to be able to swallow pills. It does away with all the anxiety of pill swallowing. If interested, I have a Hub on the pill swallowing cup at Conleys Review.


alexadry profile image

alexadry 3 years ago from USA

Thanks for writing this hub, now I know I am not alone. Many make fun of me when I tell them I cannot swallow pills, and lately they seem to be making larger and larger horse pills. When I worked for the vet, we used a compounding pharmacy for pets, and yes, I would be eager to use one for myself too!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

These are great suggestions, Kat. Thank you for these additional tips. I did not know that the pharmacy can do that!


KatSanger profile image

KatSanger 3 years ago from Texas

A few suggestions I'd like to add - you can always try to find compounding pharmacies (for some medications) where they can put the pill form into a liquid or other format. For example, when my sister worked at a pharmacy, they would even make gummy bears with medicine in them! And if you're using liquid medication, a lot of pharmacies can now flavor the medicine, which can help to mask the taste and make it more acceptable.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for your tip Aurelio. The children's versions of these medicines can come in handy in a pinch, but they are not adult strength. This method can be expensive since you will be taking a larger number of pills each time. It also can get difficult to get the right combination, especially with multivitamins. If you take too many, you will overdose on something.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

One alternative to chewy vitamins is to check out the ones they make for kids. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Dianna, you would think that the makers of the horse pills would think about the person having to take them. Making them smaller certainly would help. Smaller is better when it comes to pills and tablets.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Pamea, rfmoran, and tipstoretireearly. Having to try to swallow pills when you choke on them makes any illness worse. I am glad there are chewables and liquids out on the market to help that problem.

Thanks GTF, btulloh098, and Jamie. Crushed pills can taste very bitter and may not properly dispense the medicine if it is a time release caplet. My mother had to deal with the frustration of cutting and dissolving pills in water before I could take it. I am glad I was spared that agony for most pills. I can't imagine how I would feel if one of those things actually lodged in my throat!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I wish they would make all medication in chewable or liquid forms. Or, perhaps they could make those horse pills in smaller, multiple pills to take at a time. I mentally have to make myself take those large pills, but always prefer the friendlier versions in vitamins and supplements. Good post and really interesting! Voted up.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

Thank you for this very useful hub! I normally do OK swallowing pills except for the huge vitamins. I remember the first time I was pregnant, I took prenatal vitamins and one time it got lodged in my windpipe. It was weird because I could still breath but it was stuck somewhere in the back of my throat. I ended up drinking hot coffee and remembered the grit melting in my throat causing me to gag. Those vitamins are ridiculous! I have been thinking recently about buying some of those gummy vites for myself and my son. He gets gagged very easy. You have shared lots of useful info here... will be bookmarking for future reference :)


btulloh098 profile image

btulloh098 3 years ago from NC

Yes, I can take small pills, but have to crush larger ones, such as prescriptions and vitamins (which makes it tastes terrible!) I love the dissolvables though. Thanks for this post! I will pin it!


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Pinned, up and useful. My daughter has a really hard time swallowing pills and she is too big for her age to take children's medicines anymore. This is a really helpful hub. Thanks!


tipstoretireearly profile image

tipstoretireearly 3 years ago from New York

Chewables were important for my daughter, who still has trouble swallowing pills as an adult! Very helpful article!


rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 3 years ago from Long Island, New York

Fortunately I don't have a problem with this but a lot of people do. I had a physician friend who couldn't swallow the smallest pill - A doctor!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

I know a few people that have a problem swallowing large pills. This hub has some good information.

Happy New Year!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Bill, I am glad that you do not have this problem - it can be cumbersome to find suitable alternatives. Happy New Year to you as well. I appreciate your support this year.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Good information my friend! I know quite a few people who have trouble with this. I have never had a problem but I know that it is a problem for many.

Happy New Year!

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