Tips for taking medication: Don't be afraid of large tablets
Pain relievers, cholesterol or blood pressure lowerers, blood thinners: millions of patients in Germany depend on regular medication. But some people get a gag reflex or a swallowing lock if they have to take large tablets. A simple trick can help them get the medicine down.
Swallowing problems with medication
According to an older study, every German swallows an average of 1.5 drugs a day. But many people get a gag reflex or a swallowing lock if they have to take large tablets. One in ten people with such swallowing problems therefore do without medication altogether, the health insurance company Barmer reports in a message. There are tricks that can make it easier to take.
Simple trick helps swallow large pills
"Patients who have problems swallowing tablets often think too much about possible difficulties with swallowing and so unconsciously block themselves against it," explains Heidi Günther, pharmacist at Barmer.
"In this case, it can help to make it clear in advance that you often swallow large bites while eating," said the expert.
People who have to take several pills a day in particular often have problems.
If you have difficulty swallowing, you should ask the doctor about alternatives. Many active ingredients are also available in the form of drops, juice or as an orodispersible tablet that melts directly on the tongue. This is also beneficial for children taking medication.
Moisten the oral mucosa
If there is no alternative to the tablet, you should take a sip before you actually take it to moisten the oral mucosa. This makes the tablet slide easier.
You should also drink at least 200 milliliters of fluid so that no active ingredient sticks to the throat or esophagus.
Tap water is the most suitable. However, drinks such as coffee, juice or milk can influence the effectiveness of the preparation.
Do not mix certain medications with dairy products or fruit juices
The tablet can also be taken with a little chewed bread or a mashed banana, unless there is a pharmaceutical argument against it.
However, this is not allowed for every tablet, because some medicines do not go well with certain foods. An example of this are some antibiotics that should not be mixed with yogurt or curd cheese.
Grapefruit should also not be combined with certain medicines. The treating doctor or pharmacist can provide information on this.
It is better not to break up large tablets
The same applies to the sharing of tablets. "Not every groove on a tablet is a predetermined breaking point, some are actually just an ornament," says Günther.
“You should only split tablets if this is expressly permitted in the package insert. If the preparation is not intended for this, the effect may be lost or, on the contrary, more active substance may get into the body than in the complete state, ”explains the pharmacist.
Another tip: do not take medication lying down. This makes it difficult to transport the medication into the stomach. (ad)