Every once in a while I run into someone who has trouble swallowing pills. Sometimes people “bite the bullet” and gulp the pills down with a struggle, just because they are anxious to get rid of whatever ails them. However, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. There are a few ways to deal with this.

The old fashion way of mashing up the pill and mixing it in something else can work. This might help you with your own pills, but when you are feeding pills to somebody else, it is a sticky-ethical-wicket. Although I don’t necessarily advocate hiding pills, because it seems to abridge the right of whoever is taking them, I have heard of pills mixed up with everything from cherry syrup to ice cream that could possibly be palatable to someone. For some pills there are equivalents that are available in powder which can be mixed into a yummy milkshake with other substances. For other pills there are liquid equivalents. Your pharmacist probably has a good idea of what’s available.

Some people just chug-a-lug water as quickly as they can. For this the easiest thing to do is place the pill on the tip of your tongue and the momentum of the water will bring it back and wash it down before you know it.

My thanks to a good friend, Dr. Bonnie Kaplan of the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada who did a study on this one. So many people were complaining about swallowing pills that she systematically raised the question “Is there a way to open the size of the throat so that the pills are easier to swallow?” The answer is “YES,” and it is surprisingly simple. When swallowing pills should try to turn your head to the side by as close to 90 degrees as you comfortably can and the pills will go down a great deal easier. In other words, look over your shoulder (either side) and feel the pills slide.

Author's Bio: 

ESTELLE TOBY GOLDSTEIN, MD is a psychiatrist certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; a former surgeon, neurologist and neurosurgeon, and has a special credential in psychopharmacology. She is known as "The Renegade Doctor" and operates a VERY independent private practice based in San Diego, CA where she concentrates on helping people get OFF of prescription medicines and onto natural substances for a variety of illnesses. She is also a researcher, currently involved in the first double-blind, placebo-controlled test of a natural treatment for bipolar illness.