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Easiest Way to Swallow Large Pills

Updated on March 15, 2018
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Swallow Pills with Chewed Food

Tired of shaking your head at articles that simply say "tilt your head back..." or "put the pill in the back of the throat..."? The authors of these articles simply don't seem to get it. Swallowing pills seems impossible for some of us, and these common "tips" just don't work. Most people who give tips like these don't have any trouble swallowing pills, and so they don't truly understand the struggle.

After trying all of the common tips, I realized something that has made it very easy to swallow any pill. If you simply swallow the pill with chewed food, it can completely disguise the pill and take away any of the anxiety that hit whenever that hard pill was tackled on its own. As weird or unconventional as it sounds, here are the steps:

  • The first time you try it, have someone close by as a precaution. If this makes you nervous, then have them in the next room.
  • Fully chew food as you normally would, preferable something dense like bread.
  • Don't load up an extra big mouthful; simply chew the amount you can normally swallow all at once.
  • When you are ready to swallow the food, form it into a lump (as you normally would when swallowing).
  • Instead of swallowing right away, put the pill in your mouth INTO the wad of chewed food.
  • Try to cover the pill so you only feel the food, then immediately swallow with water. It should feel like you are simply swallowing your food with water.
  • As a tip, first practice the steps with your food a few times without the pill inside (but still go through the motions of placing the pill and swallowing, just to get more comfortable with it before having an actual pill with the food).

And that's it! Again, it might sound silly (and a little gross), but has really worked where other pill-swallowing methods have failed. For additional tips, see the list below.

Avoid sharp-edged tab pills such as these:

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Other Methods and Tips for Swallowing Pills

  • Use a pill-cutter to make it much easier to cut extra large pills into halves or quarters.
  • Try to find coated or gel capsules, or simply those that don't have any hard edges as "tab pills" often do (such as smooth oval, or smooth round).
  • For some, such as vitamin C, you might find both tab and long capsule options. Go with the long capsule rather than the rounder tab as these go down easier.
  • Some pills can be broken open, allowing you to dump their contents into a smoothie, juice, etc.
  • Always ask your doctor if their is a liquid alternative to any pill prescriptions.
  • See if you can find chewable vitamins; even if they are meant for kids, you can still take them as well. Just be sure to figure out the adult dosage/recommendation in case you might need to take one-and-a-half, or two, etc.
  • For some pills, such as Aspirin, you can find baby versions that are smaller.

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    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 5 weeks ago from California Gold Country

      I seldom take pills, but when I do, I sometimes have trouble swallowing them. This sounds like a sensible idea, and I think it will work for me. Thank you.

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