how to help the medicine go down

I accept a confession to accomplish. I’m a 40-year-aged adult that cannot successfully swallow pills. Shocking…I apperceive. However, it does accord me a tremendous empathy for the abounding kids with adapted needs who must booty one or multiple medication EVERY day. For abounding of these families, medication age is a daily attack if not a daily battle!

For those of you who are already saying, “Oh it’s so accessible, you aloof ….”. Plese bar. Every adult who has ever learned of my dilemma has shared his or her “no fail” strategy. Needless to add, they can’t claim they are “no fail” anymore. I anticipate one of the problems is this — if you swallow pills easily it’s really adamantine for you to statement for how you accomplish it. You aloof DO it. In an accomplishment to accept and ease my own bearings and that of others according to me, I went researching. Here are my findings, both the accepted and the “added artistic”.

1. Eliminate the non-chief

This tip is aerial on my list. Any medication I can administer NOT to booty is a step in the adapted direction. Here are a couple articles to advice you decide when medications are chief:

** How to Amuse the Most Benefits with the Fewest Risks

** Psychiatric Medications for Children & Adolescents: Questions To Buzz

2. How to swallow pills

Aboriginal of all, not everyone CAN swallow a tablet. Some children truly accomplish not accept the mouth and throat ascendancy to swallow a solid tablet. This can be seen in the actual adolescent child. It can again be the position in an older child with a developmental delay that affects his adeptness to swallow or speak. If your child cannot swallow a moderate mouthful of baptize without it dripping out of his mouth, he may accept a physical botheration with the swallowing reflex. If you aren’t sure whether your child has the physical adeptness to swallow pills, consult his/her doctor or a speech therapist. Once that affair is cleared up ….

Everyone has a theory on how to “advise” tablet swallowing.

Dr. William Sears recommends this access:
“Instead of following the accustomed inclination and tipping the head back to swallow a tablet, accept your child bend her head forward. Abode the tablet near the tip of her tongue. Accept your child bend her head forward so that the chin touches the chest. As she swallows, she should lift her head up quickly. The tablet will rise to the top of the baptize (toward the back of the tongue) and wash down easily with the swallow.”

A seasoned mom suggested this adaption:
“Amuse a couple of packages of those MINI m&m’s. They are slightly bigger than abounding children’s pills and taste much bigger. Speak with your child about how much bigger they air on the medication. Statement for that you appetite to advice him or her TEACH THEMSELF to swallow meds. Accord him/her the M & M’s and a glass of milk/baptize, whatever s/he picks, and a couple of M & M’s. Here’s the bargain: If s/he can swallow an M & M entire, s/he gets the rest of the parcel. Let him/her ace shot. Limit your training to 3 chances so you don’t reinforce failure. If s/he sincerely tries and ALMOST succeeds, then accord a portion of the treat and ace shot again the abutting day.”

And Christy Russell at the University of Kansas offers this abstraction:
“Sometimes children must booty baby steps to expert the art of the gulp. In those cases, it helps to sweeten their path. Alpha by teaching your child to swallow one of those Sprinkles used in cake decoration — Dejected, Chicken, Bittersweet, any color will assignment. Then act up to spherical silver sprinkles. From there, it’s a short bob to introducing your child to fragments of bittersweet licorice whip snipped to less than half an inch in length. Your final bar before the bob to an actual tablet might be a capsule-shaped candy according to Tic-Tacs, then a vitamin.”

NOTE: Although added than one expert recommends this access (Dr. Sabine Hack outlines a agnate access in Tablet Swallowing Fabricated Accessible it is big to note that it can animate some kids to anticipate of medicine as candy. If you are concerned about confusing a child with developmental delays or other cognitive issues, then this access is probably not a astute choice for your bearings.

Here are some other artistic methods for getting a tablet down:

=> Blend with aliment – The taste of most medicine is adamantine to disguise, but sometimes you can advice “slide” a tablet down or blend a capsule’s contents into a aliment that hides it enough to advice. Buttering the tablet or burying it in a spoonful of preserve can advice it to slide down added easily. Other foods to ace shot mixing with accommodate: freeze cream (especially flavors that already contain chunks of brownie, fruit, or nuts), whipped cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, apple relish, peanut butter, pudding, grits, mashed potato, candied potato pie, Set-O, the slippery relish from canned peaches, mashed banana, pancake syrup or chocolate syrup. Bethink to statement alone a baby amount of aliment.

=> Statement a straw – Accept your child put the tablet on his/her tongue. Then using a straw, suck down three ample gulps of baptize. With a straw there is no tablet floating around in your mouth according to there is if you aloof ace shot to swallow a tablet with a ample mouthful of baptize.

=> Statement a cookie – When the cookie is chewed and ready to be swallowed, pop the tablet in and then swallow the cookie.

=> Add liquid – Dissolve the tablet in a tiny bit of balmy baptize and blend it with Cranberry extract.

=> Add a disguise – Booty a baby bit of Fruit Roll-up and wrap the tablet inside it.

=> Ace shot thicker fluids – If baptize isn’t working ace shot milk, fruit nectar, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Arrange, a milkshake, or one of the advanced liquid yogurt products. Thicker fluids actualize added bulk, manufacture it harder for the tablet to separate itself from the fluid during swallowing. Bethink: If you are diabetic, statement the sugar-chargeless version of these beverages.

=> Lessen your mouth sensitivity – Spray or gargle with an over-the-counter topical anesthetic (normally used for sore throats) before swallowing or accept your child suck on a Popsicle to partially numb the mouth.

=> A babyish at a age – Crush a chewable tablet between two spoons and add a few drops of baptize, manufacture a adhesive of the medicine. Using your finger, abode a baby amount of the adhesive on the inside of your child’s cheeks and acquiesce her to swallow a babyish bit at a age.

=> Accord it a babyish squeeze – Liquid medications can generally be administered using an spoken syringe. Haul the medicine into the syringe and accord directly into your child’s mouth. An spoken syringe has no darner, aloof a tip to dispense the medicine. When you accord medicine with a syringe it is always ace to accord it on the left or adapted side of the child’s mouth to lessen the risk of choking.

IMPORTANT: Every medication is altered and how you administer it may appulse the road it works. It is always acute to check with your regular pharmacist before you decide to statement any access that differs from the instructions you were accustomed with the medication.

3. Accede a tablet alternative

I knew I wasn’t alone in my attack when above pharmaceutical companies started to accomplish Adult medication in a array of formats — liquid, dissolving pills, sprays, patches, etc. Children’s medicines again any more come in liquid anatomy, chewable tablets, dissolving tabs, and spray formulas.

=> Spoken sprays can deliver vitamins, minerals, and other supplements directly into the bloodstream in a road that is abrupt, convenient and requires NO adapted skills.

=> Another choice is to action medication in a lozenge or medication stick anatomy. Lozenges are solid preparations that are intended to dissolve or disintegrate slowly in the mouth. They contain one or added medicaments usually in a flavored, sweetened base.

=> Abounding medications are available in liquid anatomy. You can speak to your affliction provider, tend, or pharmacist about which of your medications can be prescribed in liquid anatomy but here are some tips from Dr. Sing Watkins:

Antidepressants: Several of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Celexa) come in liquid anatomy. Paxil has a relatively tasty orange flavor. It was ambitious to acquisition in pharmacies for a while but is any more added available. Celexa has a mint flavor with a slight medicinal aftertaste.

Stimulants: Adderall XR and Metadate CD capsules can be opened and sprinkled on pudding and applesauce respectively. Avoid swallowing amphetamines with citrus or other acidic juices.

Humour Stabilizers: Lithium comes as a syrup. Tegretol comes in a chewable anatomy. Depakote comes in sprinkles. Some antipsychotic medications come in liquid or suspension forms. Some pills can be dissolved in certain specific liquids. Age ago, Prozac came no smaller than 20 mg. When patients needed a smaller dose, we told them how to dissolve the capsule in cranberry extract-we called it Cranzac. Consult your doctor and your pharmacist before attempting to dissolve or crush a tablet. Dissolving or crushing some medications, will chicken feed how the tablet works.

4. If all else fails . . .

When a medicine cannot be crushed and mixed with aliment, or when your child still refuses to “eat” or “drink” the compound, a pharmacist may be able to prepare a custom liquid compound from a tablet or capsule anatomy of the medicine. Actual generally, pharmacists can again add a flavoring to the liquid, such as cherry syrup, to advance its taste.

This type of preparing of medication is called compounding Some pharmacies accomplish compounding and others accomplish not. Children’s Hospitals around the country generally accept outpatient pharmacies that can prepare adapted doses of medications for kids. Even if you don’t alive near a Children’s Hospital, they may be ready to prepare and mail a adapted prescription.

As with much in action, the answer seems to be creativity and persistence!

Copyright 2003, Lisa Simmons

About the author:

Lisa is the director of the Epitome Lives Inclusion & Advocacy Center supporting parents raising children with adapted needs. “We accommodate the tools, resources, and advice you charge to amuse results. Our bull's eye is on manufacture abutment child’s play and connecting advocates to answers.”

Originall posted July 9, 2012