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8 Methods to Help People Swallow Their Pills

Swallowing a pill can be a challenging task for both children and adults. I myself was unable to take a pill until I was 22 years old. It can cause discomfort, and frustration, and even delay recovery, as not all drugs can be crushed or replaced with substitutes. The protective shell of the pill dissolves in the mouth, leaving a bitter taste that many people find unpleasant. Some fear choking or vomiting when trying to swallow a pill whole. However, there are nine recommended ways to make swallowing pills easier. 


1. Hiding the pill inside a gummy bear or citrus fruit slice.

This method suggests a way to easily swallow medicine without having to taste it. All you need to do is make a small cut in a gummy bear or a piece of citrus fruit, and insert the medicine inside. This will effectively cover the medicine and prevent it from touching your tongue. You can then chew on the gummy bear or citrus fruit before swallowing, and drink water if needed. For small children, it's best to divide the fruit or gummy bear into smaller pieces for easier swallowing.

gummy bears with pills

2. Practice with candy

Many people struggle with pill swallowing because they are not accustomed to swallowing large objects. This causes the coating of the pill to dissolve, revealing the unpleasant taste and leading to reluctance and spitting it out. However, there is a successful method to overcome this, using candies of various sizes and textures to practice swallowing without fear of bitterness. By gradually increasing the size of the candies, you can train your body to swallow larger objects, making it easier to swallow pills in the future. After a few days of practice, you will be able to easily swallow pills without hesitation.


Children often face difficulties in taking pills due to fear or discomfort. However, a study conducted in 2010 found that training with candy was an effective method to improve their ability to take medication. During the experiment, children were trained to tilt their heads in different ways while taking the medicine with candy. After only 14 days of training for 10 minutes each time, all children were able to swallow pills without any issues. However, it is important to note that one should be cautious and avoid giving candies larger than the size of the medicine to prevent any risks.

3. Eat some bread
If you struggle with swallowing pills and feel like they get stuck in your throat, there is a simple solution that can help. Try using small pieces of bread to soften the pill and make it easier to swallow. Cut a slice of bread into small pieces, chew them until they are soft, and then place the pill in the center of your mouth with the pieces of bread surrounding it. Swallow everything together, and the bread will help the pill go down smoothly. However, it's important to note that some medications should be taken on an empty stomach, so be sure to check the instructions before using this method.
Eat some bread


4. The pill-dropping technique 

If you're having trouble taking your medicine with water, there's another technique you can try. Instead of taking the pill and then drinking water, try filling your mouth with water first. Then, carefully drop the pill inside and swallow everything together. This method can help the pill go down smoothly and quickly. Just remember that this technique involves a large amount of water and is not recommended for children.

ניפוח לחיים

5. Use drinks with a creamy texture

To make swallowing pills easier and reduce the unpleasant feeling in your mouth, try taking them with drinks that have a strong taste and thick texture. Orange juice and milkshakes are good options, but be careful not to mix certain medications with grapefruit juice, as it can cause an overdose. Click here for a list of drugs that should not be taken with grapefruit.

כוס מילקשייק עם תות עליה

6. Hide the pill in a spoonful of liquid food

Before trying this method, it is important to check if you can take your pill with anything other than water. If you can, you can use a spoonful of a liquid-textured food like peanut butter, yogurt, ice cream, or jelly that will hold the pill in place. These foods are usually swallowed without chewing, so they will mask the presence of the pill, making it easier for you to take it.

כדור בתוך כף עם מאכל נוזלי

7. Suck the pill in

If you struggle with swallowing pills, there's a simple trick you can try. Instead of attempting to swallow the pill directly, place it on the back of your tongue and drink a liquid through a straw. The pumping action required to draw the liquid through the straw can help the pill go down smoothly. This method can be particularly helpful for children who may struggle with swallowing pills.

שתייה מקש

8. The head-tilting technique

When it comes to swallowing pills, the common advice is to tilt our head backwards. However, there's an alternative approach that can be more effective, especially for those who have trouble swallowing pills. This method involves placing the pill in the center of your tongue, taking a sip of water without swallowing, and then bending your head forward until your chin touches your chest. By doing this, the pill will float in your mouth without touching your tongue, making it easier to swallow. This method has been found to be effective for both children and adults, with many participants in studies reporting it as the most effective method for them.

אישה בולעת כדור בהטיית ראש קדימה

Once you have tested out the various techniques proposed in the article and determine which one works best for you, administering pills and medicines to your kids will be a breeze. Best of luck and wishing you and your family the best of health!

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