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Medications and your Health > Medication how-to guides > How to swallow pills
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How to swallow pills

Try these tips for easier swallowing*

  • Check to see if you can break, split, or crush your medication into smaller pieces that are easier to swallow. Not all medications can be crushed or broken, so check with your pharmacist before you try this.
  • For capsules, open it up and empty the medication into a small amount of food. For slow-release capsules, this can still be done as long as the contents are swallowed without chewing. Check with your pharmacist to make sure you can take your medication with food.
  • Check to see if the medication comes in a smaller tablet or as a liquid.
  • Place medication in a small amount of food. Some medications can't be taken with food, so check with your pharmacist before trying this.
  • Place medication at the back of the tongue, then wash it down with water.

*If you have medical problems that make it hard for you to swallow (such as partial muscle paralysis after a stroke), talk to your doctor before trying these tips. You doctor may offer special instructions depending on your condition.



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