How to Easily Swallow a Pill or Capsule

How to Easily Swallow a Pill or Capsule

Than you, Pixabay.

During the last six months, my husband has had trouble swallowing pills. He’s thrown up a few times. He’s gagged and thought he was going to choke on them. They’ve gotten stuck in his throat. He has about 20 pills to take at different times of the day, so it’s an all day problem. 

Anyone at any age can have trouble swallowing pills. Perhaps what I discovered might help someone you know. I hope so.

We tried the cutting the pills in two. Inevitably, some of the pill was lost. I even ordered a big mortar and pestle to crush a whole bunch at one time.  We could tell that a lot of the pill was lost. We hid pills in pudding or applesauce. That didn’t work too well because the taste got through to his tastebuds. Yuch!

I looked online for vitamins in small pills or capsules. I discovered a few. You could also ask your pharmacist if the medicine comes in a smaller pill or in liquid.  But these two ways worked for Carl, so he’s a happy camper. I am a happy camper, too. Now he’ll be able to do his meds by himself. He won’t be afraid any more. 

I asked the doctor if there were some medications or vitamins that he could do without. The doctor said he needed all of his prescriptions but that he could stop one vitamin for awhile. 

That left him with about 19 pills to take: most of them tablets; many of them are capsules. 

Totally frustrated while trying to help him get back to taking his meds himself after being in rehab, it was evident that I needed more help. 

Dun ta Dun!

I went to YouTube and searched, “How to take a large pill easily.” I knew I needed to see it demonstrated.

Hurray for the internet! Hurray for Hurray for Google.

To Swallow Capsules

The Lean Forward – Glass of Water Method

Capsule. Thank you, Pixabay.

For capsules, put the capsule on the front of your tongue, take a sip of water from a glass, then lean your chin forward and swallow.

Thank you, Pixabay.

To Swallow Tablets

The Pop Bottle Lean Back Method

Tablets. Thank you, Pixabay.

For a tablet, put it on your tongue, take a pop bottle full of water, lean your head back and take a drink of water, then swallow. Voila! The pill goes down. It’s like magic.

Thank you, Pixabay.

Here are two videos I liked best for showing these two techniques:


Joe Bereta. Dr. Feelgood Fun and Energetic and Informative “The Best Way To Swallow Pills:” 

AbrahamThePharmacist. “How To Swallow Tablets Easily | Best Easy Way Technique To Swallow Capsules | Difficulty Swallowing:”

Below are links with clearly written descriptions and more ways to swallow pills that I found. “How to Swallow a Pill: 8 Methods Worth Trying:”

Arch. “How to Swallow a Large Pill and Other Tips for Taking Pills:”

Tessa Berenson. Time Magazine. “Science Says These Are the Best Ways to Swallow Pills:”

I hope the information here helps you and someone you love solve a problem of taking any kind of pills. It helped me and my husband. I am thankful to God that this helped lessen stress for Carl.

My book. Joan’s Elder Care Guide  has many practical and helpful ideas I wrote to help those caring for a loved one who is not a spring chicken any more. I hope you’ll check the reviews on Amazon. I’d be honored if you buy it and let me know what you think of it.

Please leave a comment. It makes me smile to hear from you. 

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2020 Joan Y. Edwards

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10 thoughts on “How to Easily Swallow a Pill or Capsule”

  1. Joan,
    So practical! So helpful! I sometimes feel like I have a pill caught in my throat when I take several at a time. I will rethink my pill taking strategies. The lean back and guzzle works well for me when I need to drink 8 oz with a pill. Many people I know don’t take the full amount of liquid recommended with pills. That might be something worth perfecting too. Hooray for these tips and for you! So glad you could help Carl find a better technique!

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad you believe these tips for taking pills are helpful. Thanks for being happy I was able to find ways to help Carl take his meds easily.

      Do something fun for yourself today!
      Never Give Up

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thank you for writing. You’re welcome for the info about how to take pills easily. I take them this way myself, now. It’s much easier!
      No getting stuck in my throat and making me cough!

      Do something fun for yourself today!
      Never Give Up

  2. Joan – you just never give up! Thank you for these tips. People naturally tend to put their head back when swallowing pills – now we know to lean forward when taking capsules. Otherwise they end out floating around in your mouth. You’re the best!


  3. Dear Pat,
    Thank you for writing. I’m glad you liked the idea of leaning forward to swallow capsules. Thanks for saying I’m the Best. I believe you’re the best. LOVE YOU.

    Never Give Up

  4. Hey Joan
    I remember a construction worker when the World trade center buildings crashed down, he had to clean up the debris afterwards his body got all messed up from cleaning the mess. He has to take 30 plus pills a day, I don’t know

    1. Dear Billy,
      Thank you for writing. Oh my Goodness! I will pray for that man. 30 plus pills a day! Many times we don’t know the shape of people who are worse off than us. Thank you for sharing, Billy.

      Were you close to the World Trade Center towers when they fell? Tell me about that day, as you remember it.

      Never Give Up

  5. When my daughter was a tiny tot, she was SURE she couldn’t swallow pills. So, when she got sick, I got her shiny, slippery capsules.
    She spat it out.
    But I wanted her to get better!
    I popped it in her mouth again.
    She spat it out.
    My hand formed a fist and… I turned and punched a hole right through the door.
    Big-eyed, she took the capsule OK.
    I then repaired the door by gluing a nice poster on each side.
    That’t the last time I struck at anything in anger, and my daughter is now 52.

  6. Dear Bob,
    Thank you for writing. Thanks for sharing the story when your daughter refused to take a pill. Oh my goodness! I know how frustrating it can be!!!

    Never Give Up

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