Can you swallow big pills?

@ladym33 (11008)
United States
April 16, 2009 9:30am CST
My knees have been feeling a bit weak so I decided I would try taking a Glucosamine supplement, I made my purchase and brought them home. I opened the bottle to take one and they are huge. I have trouble swallowing big pills, I have even choked and threw up trying to take big pills before, I am really disappointed, I did not take one yesterday, I don't know if I even want to take them now. The thought of choking and vomiting trying to get them down has me very weary of taking these. Do you also have trouble swallowing big pills?
14 people like this
64 responses
@prinzcy (5060)
• Malaysia
16 Apr 09
Big or small, swallowing pills is a pain. I usually put it as far as I can reach in my mouth and swallow a gulp of water so it easily go down my throat. Some might put it in a banana and eat it with it but I am scare of the taste. I still need to chew the banana too.
3 people like this
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
17 Apr 09
I can NOT swallow big pills. I was 21 before I could even swallow the teeniest, tiniest pills! The only way I could get those down was with very cold orange juice. Now, if the pills are gel-coated and slick, I can't get them down. For instance, Excedrin has those thick white circle-shaped pills with flat edges, and they are not coated. . . I can't get those down for anything without choking and gagging. Most vitamin supplements are huge and not gel-coated . . . I cannot take them.
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
17 Apr 09
Sorry, I meant to type "if the pills AREN'T gel-coated and slick, I can't get them down."
2 people like this
@Yatayee (117)
• Australia
16 Apr 09
I used to find it really really difficult myself. My way to swallow them now is to put them in my mouth, take a mouthful of water, then tilt my head back as far as I can, wait a moment as the tablet falls backwards, and then try to swallow all the water at once with my head still tilted back. This is usually successful for me. You can also practice coping with your gag reflex by using pieces of soft bread crust as pretend tablets. As to the supplements I recommend you add Fish Oil (Omega3) to your arsenal. My sister has erosive arthritis and says that for her, this makes a much better improvement than the glucosamine alone. Good luck and I hope you feel stronger very soon.
@GardenGerty (98255)
• United States
17 Apr 09
Fish oil is highly recommended for many things. I have heard to do pills the way you describe, but if they are capsules, tilt your head down as they will float to the top of your mouth and then go down smoothly.
2 people like this
17 Apr 09
With Glucosamine you can cut them in half and take a half at a time of crush them in a mug with a spoon then flush thme down with milk or water. They are rather big but I usally mangage with my morning coffee
2 people like this
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
17 Apr 09
I can take big pills but I won't if I don't have to. There is something you can buy that is a drink with glucosamine/condroitin in it called Elations. They come in 6-packs and are located in pharmacies, usually where you find supplement pills. There are two different flavors: raspberry/apple and raspberry/white grape. I recommend the raspberry/apple because it's not tart like the other one. It tastes kind of like fruit punch but not as sweet. One bottle a day is all you need. It costs about the same or just a little more than the pills and is definitely worth looking into. I got mine from WalMart but now get them at CVS because I'm trying to boycott WalMart, especially their pharmacy. The people who work at the pharmacy near me, aside from the pharmacists themselves, are incompetent and sometimes even rude. After going through a nightmare with one prescription with WalMart (it took 2 weeks for them to finally fill it right), I stopped going there. But, you can buy Elations in any pharmacy, to my knowledge. They're in clear plastic bottles, in 6-packs and easy to spot. I'd recommend them to anyone who can't swallow those monster pills.
• United States
16 Apr 09
Although I have never really had trouble swallowing pills, I have some information that may or may not help with the situation... About 90% of the time when swallowing a pill, it's not the SIZE of the pill that gives the gagging sensation. When most people go to swallow a pill they take a deep breath right before (most likely because they are sure it's going to end badly). Just have confidence, skip that huge breath and take in a shallow, short breath instead. This will tell your body that it shouldn't use the gag reflex. It's basically a battle of willpower. So the next time you need to take a pill, open the bottle and put the pill in your hand, then lift it to about an inch below your mouth. Take a short, shallow breath, and if you have water, take a small sip BEFORE putting the pill in your mouth. Then put the pill in your mouth by using the tips of your fingers to basically toss it to the back of your throat. The rest is simple. DO NOT TRY TO BREATHE, and take another small sip of water, then swallow. The pill is down easier than ever before. I hope this helps.
• United States
16 Apr 09
Horse pills huh? I guess you could get a big tube and have somebody blow them into your throat. I'd try cutting them in two.
2 people like this
• Philippines
16 Apr 09
I can remember only one incident when i had a hard time swallowing a pill. I was then in high school when i popped in a paracetamol and then tried to swallow it by following it down with water. But the thing was, not a glass or cup was available because i was then drinking from one of the nearby faucets around the school grounds and so i just bowed and cupped the flowing water with my hand. I finally swallowed the pill but it took me awhile before i overcame the choking sensation i felt that time. Nowadays i could just easily swallow four capsules of vitamins and a calcium caplet at the same time when followed with a glass of water. I am already used to doing this because i don't want to drink in too much water by taking the capsules and pills one at a time. That would be too heavy in my stomach! However big the pills or capsules may be or whatever their taste are, perhaps i've just unconsciously mastered the technique of taking them in easily. Hi ladym, i hope you'll get used to swallowing those big pills without any more trouble and that your knees heal and get stronger by God's grace. I know how it hurts because me and my husband are also having bouts of arthritis. ^_^
2 people like this
@jazzsue58 (2672)
17 Apr 09
I agree, big pills stick in my throat and hurt on the way down. They also sit heavy in my stomach. Supplements are the worst - they are like bullets! I can usually grind up normal medication but these are like concrete. My pharmacy sell "pill cutters" which are a safe way to break up your tabs. No good if you're taking time control pills though.
1 person likes this
@kawalnarang (1095)
• Trinidad And Tobago
17 Apr 09
Prinzcy has put the idea that I was intending to mention,, the other way is think of it as a delicacy,or the dish u like best,, and do not think of it as a pill,,the only other way is if u can break it up in pieces,
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Apr 09
Toss those horse pills in a blender with a glass of your favorite juice (make sure they do not interact badly with that particular juice.) Turn it on high, turn off, pour into a glass and drink down a liquid. I'm not guaranteeing it will taste the best ever, but it will get the pill down your throat.
1 person likes this
@vera5d (4007)
• United States
17 Apr 09
I am not very good at it. I don't think I would throw up from it, but I usually get to that point where they start to disintegrate and taste terrible. It is always vitamins for some reason that are the hardest - my doc gave me 5 different samples of prenatal vitamins to try - they were all so huge I could only actually swallow the one type, which you had to take two of. It gets easier with practice - I never actually swallowed a pill until I was about 17! I was so afraid of it as a kid for some reason! Swimming is supposed to be really good for your knees and strengthening them because the water displaces your weight from them so there is not so much strain. Our one friend has really bad knees and I think she is opening her pool this weekend so she can start walking laps in it because it helps - (it's heated - warm water is better for the knees, plus it's april so it's still cold as heck out here!) `
1 person likes this
@patms1 (522)
• United States
17 Apr 09
Ladym33, you can buy Gluosmine in liquid form. I just bought it yesterday. Please don't give up on this. I was going through hell with my knee when I started taking it. One day I was crossing the street which was bad for me because of my knee when I realized that I had used my bad knee to get on the sidewalk. It does not cure your problems but it helps to keep the pain manageable. You can also cut the pills in a size more comfortable for you.
1 person likes this
@idowrite72 (2214)
• United States
17 Apr 09
So sorry to hear of your problems with pills. My one sister couldn't take pills of any kind at one time, but she can now. We used to laugh and make fun, although we shouldn't have. I take a whole handful at one time every morning and it doesn't bother me at all and it doesn't matter how big they are. The funny thing is, if I do have a problem, it's the little ones that are still in MY mouth after I swallow the handful! You can always crush them between 2 spoons and mix them with applesauce or pudding and take them that way if it is still a problem. They will still get to the same place! OR even cutting them in half with a knife and taking them in halves, as I do with some of the ones that I only need half a dosage some days and a whole dosage other days. I wish you luck!
• United States
16 Apr 09
I hate swallowing pills whether they are big or small. I have to take about eight pills a day and 4 of them are monsters. I used to cut them in half like the doctor suggested but YUCK..that just made the taste even worse and every time I tried to take them I wanted to gag. I got to the same point as you where I would gag and vomit every time I took them that I didn't want to take any longer. I asked the doctor what I could do because cutting them in half wasn't working and he suggested putting them in a half a cup of water and letting them dissolve. Not all pills will work that way but most of them do...maybe call your doctor and see if you can do that with you Glucosamine and maybe then you will be able to take them, even if you have to plus your nose and swallow it down quick.
1 person likes this
@tixepower (1196)
• Sweden
16 Apr 09
You have no idea how much I can swallow at the same time ! I'm very fast at eating and I like to eat a lot at the same time. I'm probably the fastest eater in the world or atleast one of them. I've never seen anyone faster.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Apr 09
I have alot of trouble swallowing pills. Last year, it got so bad that I couldn't even swallow a drop of water. I was in and out of the hospital on i.v. and they finally admitted me to the hospital. They did the scope on the esophagus and found that my esophagus was very ulcerated. Certain medications had caused it. That has pretty much healed up, but I still have problems swallowing some pills and also certain foods. Good luck.
@hmkoct5 (2067)
• United States
16 Apr 09
Wow, these pills must be huge! Yes, I do have trouble swallowing big pills. They tend to get stuck in my throat. I try to take a huge drink of water and then get the pill to go down while I swallow the water. I think I freak myself out though and end up choking on the pill. I hope you figure out a way to get them down!
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
19 Apr 09
I hate having to swallow any type of pill. For capsules I put them in my mouth with some water and tilt my head forward so they will float upward and I swallow. For pills and caplets it is the opposite. I tilt my head back and push my tongue out between my lips and then swallow.
• Singapore
20 Apr 09
Maybe pouring a strong water current (from a bottle perhaps) with the pills would help. And... take the pills one at a time!
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
20 Apr 09
My way works perfectly for me.
3 Jun 09
Just found your comments - how nice to know its not just me. Since the menapause I have suffered from painful joints - particuarly my ankles in the morning and my knees and hips most of the day. Trouble is -I just can't seem to get those huge glucosamine tablets down. Its a real mission! I've had two tubs of the stuff in my kitchen cupboard for over two years. I tried some glucosamine liquid once that was supposed to taste of strawberries - yuk - strawberry taste followed by fish taste! Does anyone know of some small, swallowable glucosamine tablets or a pleasant tasting liquid form?