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November 13th, 2014

Do you find it difficult to swallow pills?

The right technique can solve the problem! For the first time, a trial conducted by Heidelberg University Hospital shows that two tricks can definitely make taking larger tablets or capsules easier.

People who use certain tricks have an easier time when swallowing tablets. For the first time, researchers working with Professor Dr. Walter E. Haefeli at Heidelberg University Hospital have studied, as part of a clinical trial, two techniques that are said to make taking tablets and capsules easier. During this trial, 151 healthy study participants swallowed different-sized tablets and capsules not containing any active substances; first, as they customarily did, and then strictly in accordance with the researchers’ instructions. About two-thirds of the subjects subsequently reported that they were able to better manage large tablets with these techniques and that even large capsules no longer caused any problems for nine out of ten participants. These techniques proved their worth even with subjects who stated that they generally had difficulties in swallowing pills. Their assessments were only slightly worse than those of the other subjects.

Instructions: Two simple tricks to make taking pills easier

The "tablet-bottle trick"
1.    Fill an elastic plastic bottle (PET bottle) with water.
2.    Place the pill on your tongue and raise the bottle to your mouth so that your lips are firmly closed around the bottle opening.  
3.    Drink the water from the bottle with the aid of suction movements and immediately swallow the pill and the water.
4.    Do not allow any air to flow into the bottle. The plastic bottle must contract while you are drinking.


The "capsule-bow trick"
1.    Place the capsule on your tongue.
2.    Take a medium-sized swallow of water and keep the water in your mouth.
3.    Tilt your head forward by slightly moving your chin down towards your chest.
4.    Now swallow the capsule and the water with your head tilted forward.


During the experiment, none of the participants had any difficulties in taking very large capsules anymore thanks to this technique.  With the somewhat smaller capsules, 86 percent reported that they had found it easier to swallow the capsules.