Trying to swallow large pills is one of the most frustrating parts of taking multiple medications. Here is a tip to avoid gagging on them and having them feel like they are stuck in your throat.
Have you ever have some of those pills that look so big you think they belong to a large animal, not a human being? One of the biggest deterrents to my taking vitamins regularly is that some days I just can’t swallow those pills without the gagging reflex kicking in. Having to swallow those big pills can cause me to start even feeling panicky and that makes swallowing the large pill even worse–because then it does get stuck! And it’s an awful feeling when that happens.
I recently read this tip in a magazine about how to swallow large pills easily and it really does seem to help. Since I began doing it the way that is described below, I have had little difficulty when I must swallow large pills like those pain killers or magnesium supplements.
To swallow large pills, tilt your chin DOWN when swallowing instead of up. Even try looking down while you do this.
Although, tilting it up is what comes naturally since we are trying to swallow (it seems to make sense we would need to open up our throat) it will actually open up your trachea (the wind pipe) and close up the esophagus. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.
However, when you tilt your chin down the position of your throat opens up the esophagus. It also closes the windpipe so the pill can slide down more easily!
Want some more ideas (including some for children who have to take pills)? There are a bunch with animated graphics at How to Swallow a Pill: 12 Steps (no, there aren’t really 12 steps, but 12 ways, but that’s what they named the article.)