Tips for Swallowing Pills
About 40 percent of American adults have trouble swallowing pills, according to a Harris Interactive poll. A group of researchers from the University of Heidelberg has unlocked the secret to taking oral medications, even for those with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Scientists tested two techniques for taking pills on more than 150 men and women. Some of the participants had preexisting problems with swallowing and some did not. “Both techniques were remarkably effective.
The Pop-Bottle Method for Tablets
Take a plastic water bottle that is flexible enough to squeeze in when you drink from it and fill it with water.
Place the tablet on your tongue and close your lips tightly around the mouth of the bottle.
Drink from the bottle by pursing your lips and sucking in water. Keep the mouth of the bottle entirely covered by your lips and refrain from allowing air to get into it. You should see the bottle begin to bend inward as you drink.
Immediately swallow the pill along with the water.
Why it works: Sucking on a water bottle helps engage your swallowing reflex, enabling you to overcome the gag reflex that kicks in when trying to down a large tablet.
The Lean-Forward Method for Capsules
Fill a glass, cup or bottle with water.
Place the capsule on your tongue.
Take a medium drink of water, but refrain from swallowing.
Close your mouth and tilt your chin down towards your chest.
Keeping your chin and head down, swallow both the water and the capsule.
Why it works: Most capsules float on water, making them difficult to swallow in the traditional way with your head in a neutral position or leaned backwards. Tilting your head forward while you have water in your mouth just before you swallow helps position the floating capsule at the back of your mouth so it slides more easily down your throat.