Problems swallowing pills
Lots of people find it hard to swallow pills. There are things you can try to make it easier and a pharmacist can offer advice.
take pills with water – you can take some pills with other drinks or food. Always read the instruction leaflet
lean forward slightly when you swallow
practise swallowing with small sweets or bits of bread – try bigger pieces as swallowing gets easier
do not throw pills towards the back of your throat
do not tip your head back too much when you swallow – this can make swallowing more difficult
do not crush pills, open capsules or alter your medicine without getting medical advice – this could stop the medicine working properly
Do not try these techniques if you also have difficulty swallowing food and drink (not just pills), as you might choke. See a pharmacist or GP for advice.
A pharmacist can advise you about:
- other versions of your medicine that might be available – for example, you might be able to get it as a liquid or dissolvable tablet
- crushing, dividing or opening up tablets and capsules – this should only be done on their advice
Problems swallowing pills can be due to: