How to swallow pills more easily

How to swallow a pill

A study by researchers from the University of Heidelberg in Germany may help people with pill swallowing difficulties. They suggest two techniques that can help people improve their ability to get medicine down. Their report was published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Pop-bottle-method-to-swallow-pills

Pop-bottle method to swallow pills

Image Credit: Annals of Family Medicine

The pop-bottle method is designed for swallowing tablets:

  • Fill a plastic water or soda bottle with water.
  • Put the tablet on your tongue and close your lips tightly around the bottle opening.
  • Take a drink, keeping contact between the bottle and your lips and using a sucking motion to swallow the water and pill. Don’t let air get into the bottle.

Researchers asked about 140 people with difficulty swallowing pills to test this method with their eyes closed, swallowing large and very large pills. The result: a 60% improvement in swallowing over the old method of just taking a sip of water from a cup and trying to swallow.

Study participants had even more success with a technique for swallowing capsules called the lean-forward method:

Lean-forward-method-to-swallow-pills

lean-forward method to swallow pillsImage Credit: Annals of Family Medicine

  • Put a capsule on your tongue.
  • Take a sip of water but don’t swallow.
  • Tilt your chin toward your chest.
  • Swallow the capsule and water while your head is bent.

This technique showed an improvement of 89% over the old method of taking a sip of water from a cup and trying to swallow.

You can download a handout demonstrating these techniques from our downloads section.

Thanks to https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/two-tricks-make-easier-swallow-pills-201411137515 for this info.

What is Oesophago-Gastric Cancer?

Oesophageal cancer is cancer of the gullet and gastric cancer is cancer of the stomach. Combined, they are medically known as oesophago-gastric (OG) cancer. The oesophagus (more commonly known as the gullet or food pipe) is the long tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. In Northern Ireland in 2016, a total of 226 people were diagnosed with oesophageal (gullet) cancer. In the same year, 214 people were newly diagnosed with gastric (stomach) cancer.

Latest News

Access all of our latest news, press releases, and newsletters in one place! Stay informed of new treatments, research and events.

Launch of our “Catch It Early” Campaign.
Ogcancerni

Launch of our “Catch It Early” Campaign.

Last night we were absolutely delighted to announce that we have been awarded £10,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland This funding has allowed us to launch our “Catch It Early” campaign for oesophageal and gastric cancer awareness. The campaign will raise awareness across NI and hopefully SAVE LIVES! A huge thank you to...

Continue Reading
Walk or Run – for Fitness and Fun
Ogcancerni

Walk or Run – for Fitness and Fun

Walk or Run for Fitness & Fun – a fundraising event to support patients and carers of Oesophageal and Stomach cancer. There are two options available, either a 5k run or a 2.5k walk in Clothworthy house, Antrim. This event is open to patients, carers and supporters. All funds raised will go directly to OGCancerNI....

Continue Reading
Researchers develop ‘potentially life changing’ oesophageal cancer test
Ogcancerni

Researchers develop ‘potentially life changing’ oesophageal cancer test

We are very proud of Dr Richard Turkington and his team for this potentially life changing work. It is great to see Northern Ireland and QUB at the forefront of research that could radically improve the lives of people with oesophageal cancer. Dr Turkington is a member of our committee, and we are very lucky...

Continue Reading