Here are 5 ways to help you swallow pills with ease. Sometimes swallowing tablets, whether they are prenatal vitamins or prescriptions, is a task that is far too hard to manage, let alone contemplate.
Rest assured that you are not alone. People of all ages share your problem. Sure, it is understandably strange to swallow something without chewing it, nevertheless, when it comes to medication, swallowing pills are an extremely convenient way to dose yourself up.
Everyone has a different tried and tested method and there is not one way that suits everyone.
Are prenatal vitamins making you feel sick?
Prenatal vitamins contain large amounts of iron and folic acid, both of which can make you feel sick. During pregnancy, you body’s blood volume increases by about one third. Your body needs the extra iron in the blood production. Without it you would feel even more tired and lethargic than you already are.
The extra folic acid is included in the prenatal vitamin to protect your unborn baby. Folic acid has shown to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
Best time to take prenatal vitamins
It is advisable to take your prenatal vitamins with food. Drinking a glass of water in addition to the food helps as well.
- Never take them on an empty stomach, especially not first thing in the morning when you are most prone to morning sickness.
If you are having a hard time keeping your vitamins down in the morning, consider taking them right before bedtime instead. Eat a small snack like some crackers and take your prenatal vitamins right before you go to sleep. The food will help keep you from getting sick and with a little luck you will be asleep before you start getting nauseous.
How to swallow pills easily
If you are looking for some easy ways to swallow your pills, here are some alternative solutions and many ‘tricks of the trade’ that you can try yourself to get those tablets down. Let’s look at them.
1. Disguise It
Try taking your pills whilst swallowing a mouthful of jelly or pudding, ice cream or yoghurt. Or how about chewing a piece of food right up until the point at which you would normally swallow, however instead place the pill towards the back of your tongue, in the middle of the food, and then swallow. Try with a small piece of bread or a cookie.
If you like mashed potato, place the tablet inside a spoon full and eat as normal.
You can also disguise pills in a bit of apple sauce so it is almost taken in a slurp like a soup.
Remember though, when you embed a tablet in food and consume both together some prescription drugs are affected by certain foods, so check with your health care provider before trying this one.
2. Cut It
If your pills are scored, meaning that they have a little line on them for cutting them in half, this gives you the green light to cut them down to size to make them smaller for easier consumption.
Do not do this with pills that are not scored or with capsules.
You can use a knife, or sometimes even break a them with your fingers. Alternatively you can buy tablet cutters at most drugstores that way you can make it smaller and more manageable.
3. Grind It
Not every tablet can be crushed so make sure that this is an appropriate option for you. Also some medication or vitamins are time-released so grinding or crushing will defeat the purpose. But if you can, simply place it into a zip lock bag, crush it with a spoon and sprinkle it on your food or place it on a spoon and down the hatch!
4. Open It
Some capsules can be opened and the contents can be poured out and added to a spoonful of something really palatable like sugar. It is bound to be bitter and not taste nice so make sure what you are adding it to works for you and then follow it down with a glass of water.
5. Swallow It
If none of these options work, simply place it on the back of your tongue, right at the back, take a sip of water, tilt your head back and then swallow.
Some prefer to pop the tablet in first and then take a sip of water whilst others are adamant that you need to take a sip of water first to make sure your mouth is moist.
Relax, close your eyes if it helps. Try taking a deep breath before putting the tablet in your mouth; some say that this can suppress gag reflexes.
How To Help Kids Swallow Pills/Vitamins
One of the tricks used to help kids learn to swallow pills is to put the pill on their tongue, or just in their mouth and then get them to take a drink through a straw. Be patient with them.
Spray N Swallow Spray Or Pill Glide
There is a product called ‘Spray N Swallow’ which is designed to lubricate the tablet so that you are less likely to notice it and feel it and more importantly it helps to ensure that it will not get stuck to your tongue or roof of your mouth. It comes in two flavors – Mint and Cherry.
Alternatively you can try a product called ‘Pill-Glide’ which comes in Orange, Strawberry, Grape, Peach, and Bubblegum. All you need to do is put a spritz of it on your tongue then place the pill on your tongue, drink some water and the pill will slide right down. A second spritz after you’ve swallowed it will help to take away any unpleasant pill taste.
Another alternative is to take a look at the Oralflo Pill Swallowing Cup. It won a Medical Design Excellence Award as it was recognized as a solution to help dysphagia sufferers (those with trouble swallowing pills) to take medications without a problem.
It alleviates pill swallowing difficulties based on its design.