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Health Check: is it OK to chew or crush your medicine?

Health Check: is it OK to chew or crush your medicine?

With the number of tablets we are asked to take seemingly forever increasing as we get on in life, particularly when we are undergoing treatment, I'm sure this is a common question.

In an easy to read overview, Nial Wheate, Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics, University of Sydney explains what we can do to make it easier to take our medicine if we can't easily swallow tablets.

There's not much value in taking tablets if we reduce their effectiveness by how we take them and as the article points out, crushing some tablets "may result in dose dumping; this is when the body very quickly absorbs a large amount of a drug. One consequence of dose dumping is an overdose of the drug, which can lead to death." Likewise, some medications taken together may work to either reduce or boost the effect of the active ingredient and that can equally apply to supplements. So for your health's sake, please inform your doctor/specialist of all that you are taking, including herbal remedies and health supplements, etc.


Photo: Tawny Frogmouth Owl. I wouldn't have noticed this owl only it flew away as I walked under the tree branch where it was perched. They make an excellent imitation of a broken off branch!

1 Reply

One of the hardest drugs to swallow recently for me is ibrutinib...the capsules are large. I found using a spoonful of yogurt, helped the process... slip...slide... away...

Other drugs like Xarelto are tiny, but very heavily coated with an Enteric coating, that protects the stomach... they dissolve slowly in the small intestine...



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