Stop Tilting Your Head Back to Swallow Pills

If you find it difficult to swallow tablets, large or small , you are not alone. Most of us have learned to swallow pills in the same way, tilting our heads back with a big gulp of water. Despite the popularity of this technique, it may not be the most efficient way to push this pill down the esophagus.

If you’ve ever missed a medication due to difficulty swallowing pills, it’s important to find a method that’s right for you. Here’s what you need to know about why you’ve probably been swallowing pills incorrectly your entire life, and what you should be doing in the future.

Lean forward to make it easier to swallow pills

Tilt your head back to swallow the pill, intuitive; after all, shouldn’t this movement allow gravity to help the pill into the hatch? However, this reasoning is erroneous. Throwing your head back is not only less effective, but even dangerous. As Mount Sinai explains, this motion gives the tablet a “straight shot” into your airways. If you’ve ever half choked on a pill, this could be the cause.

In contrast, pointing the chin toward the chest—called the ” forward lean pose “—is pretty much the safer way to swallow pills. Here’s how to use the “forward bend” method to swallow your pills. according to Harvard Health :

  • Put the capsule on your tongue.
  • Take a sip of water, but do not swallow.
  • Tilt your chin towards your chest.
  • Swallow the capsule and water with your head tilted.

Additional tips to help the pills go smoothly

Another tip for those who have difficulty swallowing pills is to relax your muscles and take a sip of cold water before swallowing. You can also take the tablet with an easy-to-swallow meal (as we previously recommended ). Consider putting the tablet in applesauce, pudding, or any other puree.

You may be tempted to cut or crush a tablet for easier swallowing, but be sure to ask your pharmacist if this is okay for your medication. For example, extended-release or enteric-coated drugs should not be broken into pieces.

Note. If you experience any difficulty swallowing liquids and/or foods in addition to difficulty with tablets, you should seek the advice of a healthcare professional. It is also possible to get the medicine in another form, such as a powder, cream or liquid, so feel free to ask.


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