When you have to take huge pills every day, it may as well be a golf ball you’re trying to get down your throat. You sit there with a mouth full of water and this huge horse pill dissolving in your mouth, and now matter how many times you try to swallow it, it dances gaily in the back of your throat, just on the edge of going down. Or worse, it goes partway down, you gag on the bulk and horrendous taste, cough it back up and try all over again to get the massive thing down. Whether it be a daily vitamin or supplement or medication you need for your health, it’s a beast to get hefty pills down.
Some people can’t swallow pills no matter how large or small they are. One way to get a pill down is to take a mouthful of water prior to putting the pill in your mouth, and keep it suspended in the liquid without touching your tongue. This way, the pill will naturally follow the flow of the water as you swallow and hopefully go down the throat on the first try. Try tilting your head back as well to give the pill a little boost. Sometimes not feeling the pill on your tongue keeps your throat from “clenching” at the approaching bulk.
Don’t balk at swallowing. The longer you wait, the more tense your mouth and throat becomes, and the more little sips you take. Put the pill in your mouth after filling your mouth with liquid and swallow as fast as you can. The more you think about having to swallow the pill while it’s in your mouth, the more you psyche yourself out. If you can’t swallow it on the first try, take it out, fill your mouth again with a good amount of liquid, tilt your head back, and drop in the pill, swallowing as quickly as you can. It should go down.
If you are able and it won’t affect the absorption of the pill you’re taking, take the pill with milk or juice, tea, whatever. Something flavorful often allows you to mask that there is a pill in your mouth physically and may make it easier to go down.
If you can take your pills with food, have a chewed piece of bread or crackers in your mouth that are ready to swallow and slide in the pill just before swallowing. This masks the feel of the pill in your mouth and throat and can help it go down faster. Sliding the pill into a spoonful of pudding or a cube of jello and swallowing whole helps as well as the lubrication of these slippery substances allows them to be swallowed whole and the pill goes right along with it unnoticed.
Taking and exhaling a deep breath before attempting to swallow a pill can help relax the throat muscles to help make the process easier as well.
I know how hard it can be to take a pill. I was on a medication last year that was as long as my pinky to the 2nd knuckle and wider and it was not in gel form. I learned that taking a sip of Sprite along with the pill helped it go down after gagging on the monster and psyching myself out numerous times. I also realized that having the beverage in my mouth prior to swallowing and just popping the pill in there and gulping immediately helped it go down on the 1st (or 2nd, or 3rd) try. Yet even now, just thinking about those monsters makes me gag.
Many of these tips worked for me, and help me handle my herbal supplements better without having to cut them in half or pour the powders out and mix them with a beverage (which is nasty). If they work for me, hopefully they will work for you.