Slightly unrelated - tablet taking - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

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Slightly unrelated - tablet taking


Hi ladies ,

Sorry this is slightly random , but just looking for some advice . I obviously suffer with pain (stomach mainly) on a regular basis & have been diagnosed with many UTIs recently. I have had to take liquid versions of medication which is usually a lower dosage and therefore doesn’t combat the issue in the same way a tablet may.

The reason for this is really silly, but when I was younger I choked really badly on a sweet and now I think I’m mentally scared to swallow something such as a tablet. As soon as I place it on my tongue my body won’t let me swallow it.

Obviously I know this is stupid & I need to overcome it as I need as much help as I can get with medication . I was just wondering if anyone has any advice on tablet taking ?!

Thanks for all your help as always,

Lucy :) xx

7 Replies

Don't worry about the liquid. The dose is lower because liquids demonstrate greater absorption than tablets. So you are taking the right amount. It would be a problem if the drug was not available in liquid form. Behavioral therapy could help (it's obviously a trauma) , but I wouldn't bother for something that can be solved easily without therapy.

My husband jokes I have “a flip top head” I put tablets in my mouth, drink water and throw my head back as many times as required!! We all have our fears and yours is understandable. Can you grind the tablets in water?

If you cant cut the tablet into smaller pieces (i.e. because its a capsule) then have you tried wrapping it in a small piece of bread or other food? I had an issue swallowing tablets when I was a teenager so I had a small piece of bread with butter on it or whatever spread and the tablet wrapped in it. This kind of trained my brain into thinking it was just food I was swallowing and it eventually worked. I had to gulp water afterwards at first if I was struggling to swallow. It took me awhile to graduate from tablets wrapped in small pieces of bread to swallowing tablets by themselves but once you've trained/tricked your brain it should be fine. Good luck!

I chew food til it's just about to be swallowed and then throw the tablet in and swallow it all together! x

Hi Lucy,

I spent a number of years in my teens and early 20s struggling to swallow pills and battling the fear of choking.

The tricks I used to 'teach' myself to swallow pills included:

Picking something I liked to eat that I could break into pieces that were similar in shape and size to the pills I wanted to take and eat the dismantled pieces with out chewing them. I mainly used cheese, anything soft enough to shape but won't immediately squish as you swallow it could potentially work. I worked my way up from eating 1 piece, then 2, etc, until I could eat the entire snack size portion of what I was eating that way. It helps to familiarise yourself with the sensation of what it is like to swallow something the size of a pill without chewing it.

Taking the medication with a milkshake orr a slushie helped me, but I recommend drinking from the cup rather than a straw when taking a pill with it. If you wait until you are part way through the drink your thraot is chilled and potentially less sensitive. Place the pill as far back on your tongue as you can manage and then swallow it with a mouthful of the drink you were already consuming.

I still struggle with some pills, usually the really large kind, but making sure I have lots to drink AND something solid to eat a mouthful or two of immediately after helps. I usually have a couple bites of a sandwich, a cookie, a couple of crackers, etc. Alternatively, you might find something cold and slippery better for you, like ice cream or sorbet.

I wish you luck. It isn't an easy fear to over come but work at it and be proud of your successes (no matter how small).

Thankyou so so so much for all of your responses ! It’s so nice to have this support ! I had stomach ache today and I actually took a whole paracetamol with just water !! I know this isn’t a big deal for most people but I did do a bit of a happy dance when I did it - although it did take many attempts !! Just need to remember that I can do it now !

Try crushing the tablet in a bowl with the back of a spoon and add to milk or dilute juice.

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