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Anyone else have problems with pills?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I hate them. And when I got scrips for Bactrim and Augmentin coming out of the hospital a week ago, I didn't realize how da** big those things were... horse pills, I tell ya.

I was fine until a couple days ago when one stuck in my throat. I tried everything to get it unstuck (applesauce, yogurt, crackers and bread)... but it developed an aversion to swallowing pills in the last two days that has frustrated me to no end. I ended up in tears last night when all i needed to take was my Oxycodone (teeny tiny pills, compared to the others). I've even thrown up twice right after taking them, although I didn't see the pills come up, just the juice I drank with them. I can't do water often with them... I gag like there's no tomorrow.

So, this morning, at the crack of dawn, I headed to the hospital for my Pulmonary tests ordered by my doctor... he needed a arterial blood draw... which didn't happen (my arms have been stuck so many times the last couple weeks, they've pretty much been fried). I also gagged each time we did the breathing test. I have to come back when I'm feeling better. So, with my throat still bugging me, I called and got in to see someone at the clinic... she sent me to an outside doctor, an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor. Now... I knew he had to stick something down my throat or other orifice to see what was going on... but holy cow... it wasn't painful, as he thoroughly numbed my sinuses and such... but he put a lubricant of some sort on it and I've been sneezing it/gagging and coughing it out the rest of this afternoon. Sorry if I grossed anyone out.

It must have dislodged sometime today... I think between the two appointments... because it wasn't AS irritated when I got there...

I know I started this about pills... but a girl has to vent somewhere about her medical woes... God help me if my cruddy insurance company just laughs and sends the bill right back... especially for the week long hospital stay.

So, she's switching me to a chewable of one and a suspension of the other, I think... I hope the pharmacy can fill these tonight... I should call and make sure i can pick them up...

Anyone else here have an aversion to pills that may, to others, seem extreme?

post #2 of 12
Not to most pills (I just refuse to take them unless it's absolutely necessary). I have had some of those big old pills get stuck/go down wrong and OHOLYGEEBUS that hurts. I can even dry swallow most small pills.

Surprisingly my biggest pill-aversion is Dramamime. It's a small little pill, but it dissolves really fast in any liquid (including saliva) and the taste makes me gag/be sick. Plus that taste is associated with getting sick on long trips. So... yeah.
post #3 of 12
I hate Augmentin. Biaxin is huge too. And if anyone has taken potassium before, those are no fun.

I can get all of those down, what causes me problems is round tablets. Somehow they flip wrong and I gag on them - especially salt tablets.

My desk looks like a pharmacy, it's mostly meds I don't take regularly or can't take but haven't tossed yet (percocets, phenergan, flexeril) and some empty midodrine bottles.

It's possible the pill caused a little damage (bruising/abrasion) to your esophagus on the way down, maybe it just had to have time to heal.
If it had affected taking pills, eating/swallowing anything, and maybe breathing - and hadn't gotten any better I would have suspected something else.

And I have to add - flagyl is absolutely the most horrible thing I have ever tasted. Even Ursodiol wasn't that bad.
post #4 of 12
I don't have problems swallowing pills.

Most peoples' inability to swallow pills is purely a mental aversion to it. When we chew our food we swallow pieces of food far larger than most pills and we don't seem to have a problem with that.

The fact that some people have a problem swallowing pills is because they haven't learned to swallow pills.

When you take a pill you need to take more than a wee sip of water to wet your tongue. You need to take a big mouthful of water and have the pills float in the water, which you can do by moving your tongue or shaking your head. Then simply swallow. The pills float down with the water.
post #5 of 12
^Vagus nerve issues can cause problems with swallowing. It can result in choking, breathing problems, near fainting and fainting in some people. Even liquids like water can set it off.
Sadly, I've chatted with someone who had swallow syncope, she had to have a feeding tube and usually ends up in the hospital quite a bit.
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
^Vagus nerve issues can cause problems with swallowing. It can result in choking, breathing problems, near fainting and fainting in some people. Even liquids like water can set it off.
Sadly, I've chatted with someone who had swallow syncope, she had to have a feeding tube and usually ends up in the hospital quite a bit.
Yes, there are rare exceptions. But for the most part, for the average person who can't swallow pills it's all psychological.
post #7 of 12
It's not exactly that rare, and it's an easily damaged nerve. (After all, you were convinced you had problems with it.) There's also people with esophageal spasms and motility issues. Nearly forgot - chronic GERD and history of bulimia can cause esophagus problems, too.
post #8 of 12
No issue here--totally used to freak my friend out when I'd swallow my 11 pills at a time---cuz she's one who can't swallow, she still gets the pink bubble gum medicine at the age of 23.

Yes, 11 pills....I was only 17 at the time too...what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger--migraines suck!

post #9 of 12
I've never been able to swallow pills. When I was little I used to be able to swallow them, only if they were in applesauce. But now I can't no matter how hard I try.
post #10 of 12
I've never had issues with swallowing pills, but then again i've had to take pills for as long as I can remember. I can easily swallow multiple pills at a time without any issues. (in my mind i'd rather get it over with )

My nephew Cooper on the other hand though has a nightmare of a time when it comes to pills....even tinsy tiny ones! We pretty much just try to get him liquids for everything if they're available. When he used to live with us, I remember him once holding a pill in his mouth until it dissolved because he was that freaked out about swallowing it. We've tried chopping them up and putting him in his food (yea, like a dog, ), we've tried teaching him how to relax and take them with a little water...but he still just can't get the hang of it really.) He tries, but he just doesn't seem to be able to do it
post #11 of 12
Hon, I've always had a huge problem with swallowing pills, but I've gotten it almost completely under control now. Let me suggest a few things:

1. If you can, take a few sips of hot tea (or coffee, if that's what you drink) BEFORE you take the pills -- not with them, because hot liquid will make them dissolve too quickly. But a warm drink beforehand loosens up your throat considerably. (Conversely, don't drink anything cold! Makes it much harder!)

2. Swallow the pills not just in liquid, but in a bite of food. For me, applesauce is much too thin for the purpose -- I use something denser, like a cheese sandwich or a peanut butter cracker. You have to chew it up thoroughly and make sure it's not too big a bite to swallow comfortably, then pop the pill in on top of the food, roll your tongue back a little to sort of wrap the pill in the food, and then swallow the bite with water (preferably room-temperature).

3. If you have more pills to take, preface each one with some of the hot liquid... and finish with it, too, to soothe your throat.

4. IMPORTANT: As someone else said, there's a big psychological component to this. I've found it helps tremendously to close my eyes and envision a rush of warm liquid pouring down over me at the moment when I start to swallow. Sounds silly, I know! And it also helps to NOT try so hard -- just deliberately relax, take a deep breath, and LET the bite slide down.

I'm sure all this seems excessive to people who don't have this problem, but it's serious stuff, and I know just what you've been going through. I really think this technique will help you, and practice helps, too.

But if this doesn't work, please do get checked out to be sure there's nothing going on physically to cause this, okay?
post #12 of 12
I have a hard time swallowning pills too, with some I HAVE to have yogurt to bury the pill in, in order to get er down; I haven't ever had any get stuck though...I hate cough syrup even more, though...
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