Did you know that around 10% of the world’s population has serious difficulties taking tablets? This could be related to a childhood trauma, an impaired swallowing reflex or a serious illness (such as a stroke). When, for some reason, you cannot swallow a tablet medicine, then try the alternative methods we discuss in our guide.
Crushing a tablet
Caution. The tablet should never be crushed on its own. Ask your doctor or possibly your pharmacist first before you decide to do this. Not all medicines in tablet form can be crushed before taking them – remember that this causes the active substance to be absorbed more quickly, which is not always advisable and may even be dangerous to your health.
Medication in another form
If you have very serious difficulties taking your medication in tablets, be sure to tell your doctor. Ask him or her to prescribe an alternative. This could be a medicine in suspension (e.g. an antibiotic), for topical application (painkillers in ointment or gel form) or in syrup, possibly in a suppository.
Capsule medicines are increasingly becoming a substitute for tablet medicines. The slippery surface of the capsule makes it very easy to take the preparation.
The bottle method
The bottle method is also worth trying. Studies have shown that it makes it easier for up to 60% of patients who were previously unable to swallow a tablet to take their medication. The method is very simple. Pour about 20 ml of water into a plastic bottle. You then place the tablet on your tongue, clamp your lips together, put the opening of the bottle against them and try to suck out all the water while swallowing it. Try it – perhaps this method will work for you too.