The Two Best Methods to Swallow Pills
For many people, swallowing pills is not only a pain, but can even pose some considerable health risks. Some patients experience such difficulty when it comes to swallowing pills that they avoid taking their medicine entirely, according to research. Dr. Walter Haefeli, a pharmacologist at the University of Heidelberg, gathered 150 patients to find out what's the best and easiest way to swallow pills. Here's what his research found:
The Pop Bottle Method
This is a good method if you need to take a large, dense tablet. Place the pill directly on your tongue. Then, wrap your mouth tightly around a plastic bottle of water and tilt your head back slightly as you swallow the water. This should help the pill go down without a hitch. In Dr. Haefeli's study, 60 percent found this method helpful.
The Lean Forward Method
This method proved even more successful for participants. Dr. Haefeli found that it is particularly effective for larger, capsule pills (as opposed to tablets). Simply place the pill on your tongue, take a small swig of water, and lean your head forward slightly as you swallow. Capsules tend to be less dense then water, so leaning forward helps guide the pill to the back of your throat. If you lean back, the pill would drift toward your teeth.
If you'd like to see these methods in action, NPR has some nice GIF's of staff members doing each. Try these techniques out and let us know how the work for you!
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Two Techniques to Make Swallowing Pills Easier (via Annals of Family Medicine)
"Participants swallowed 16 differently shaped placebos, rated their ease of swallowing on an 8-point Likert scale, and swallowed the 2 dosage forms that they had rated most difficult again using the appropriate technique."