Adulting 101: How to Swallow Pills

Being able to take appropriate medicine is important to your health. But liquid medicine tastes vile and isn’t always available. So, if you’re like me, you hate having to take medicine because you can’t swallow pills. There are very few words to precisely explain how this knowledge makes you feel when you need to take medicine. The best description, though, can be summed up in these two words: it sucks.

Now, there are so many tips out there, but they don’t always work. Here’s a few methods that have worked for me:

1. Cut the pill up and wrap in in bread. It kind of makes you feel like a dog and takes a long time, but it works. And there’s many ways to accomplish this. You can either use a knife (a sharp one or a butter knife both work, though the butter knife is slightly less effective) to cut apart the pill or buy a pill splitter (pictured below).

Image via Forgetting the Pill

2. Buy differently shaped pills. Now, this doesn’t always work because different pills aren’t always available, and doesn’t always help. But for the more simple stuff, like Ibuprofen, this works pretty well. I honestly can’t explain it, but oval shaped pills are sometimes just easier to swallow. These can be found just about anywhere the circular ones are sold too.

Image via NBC New York

3. Try swallowing differently. I find that by consciously curling your tongue back when you swallow, pills go down much easier. It helps to take a few mouthfuls of water using this method before attempting it with the pill. This way the pills are much less likely to get trapped between your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Even if they’re a pain in the butt, pills are great if nothing but because they don’t taste nearly as bad as liquid medicine. Still, these methods don’t always work. And it is very annoying. But, a bit of a struggle is worth it to avoid the burning in the back of your throat and that lingering taste.