The most common way in which people take their medicine is orally (by mouth). However, there are other ways as well in which a person can take their medication. Depending on what the doctor has prescribed, you can swallow, chew, or place it under your tongue to dissolve. Although the third method is hardly practical, we will stick with the first two methods in this article.
Moist medicine is in the form of pills with accurate dosing and can be easily prescribed by doctors. As long as the doctors and the pharmacist are on top of what they are doing, they will know which medicine to prescribe depending on the patient’s health.
But what about a situation where a child or an elderly is having problems swallowing the exact dose? Can the tablets be chewed before consuming them? We are here for the same reason and answer whether to crush or chew the tablet in such scenarios.
Is It Ok To Chew Or Crush The Medicine?
Some people are incapable of swallowing the tablet whole. There can be multiple reasons, the patient can be a child or an elderly, or the patient has gone through a surgery that is making it impossible to swallow.
Some people have come with solutions of their own. They either chew the tablet or crush it and then consume it. However, in doing so, the medicine might not work properly. In fact, there have been cases that ingestion of crushed tablets has resulted in death.
For a number of reasons, you shouldn’t crush or chew a tablet. And if you are doing that, it might result in dumping. This is a condition where the body absorbs the medicine too quickly, which can backfire negatively.
Some of the tablets come with an external coating, an enteric coating. It is designed to ensure that the medicine disintegrates in the small intestine. Hence, if you crush or chew the tablet, the body might not be able to absorb the medicine completely.
Alternative To Chewing And Crushing:
If you cannot swallow the tablet and your doctor has prescribed a medicine that comes in the form of a tablet or capsule, it would be better to ask the pharmacist about the different ways to take medicine.
Well, if you are reading this article, you do not have to ask a pharmacist. We have already listed down the best alternatives here.
1. Swallow Gel:
There are products in the market that offer the solution of not being able to swallow tablets. One such solution is Gloup swallowing gel. It is a lubricant that makes it easy for the patient to swallow the medicine. In a report, 54% of the participants find it easier to get their pills down.
2. Use A Pop Bottle:
The pop bottle is the Germans innovation designed to make the patient swallow dense tablets. However, this method is limited to tablets only and does not work with the capsule.
3. Lean Forward:
This is more of a technique than an alternative. If you lean forward while taking the capsule, the food pipe becomes straight and makes it easy for you to swallow the tablet. In a research, it has been seen that 88% of the participants have improved their swallowing activity.
4. Drink Lots Of Water:
Perhaps, this is the well-known method of swallowing the medicine. This method is more about practice whether you take a huge gulp of water with medicine.
Crushing and chewing the tablet might reduce its effectiveness. Hence, you must not practice doing such things until and unless it is mentioned on the packaging. In this article, we have listed down a few alternatives that can be used to effectively consume the medicine without chewing or cruising it.
If you are not able to swallow the medicine, it is better that you talk with your doctor. Who knows, there might be some liquid medicine as an alternative.