Difficulty Swallowing Pills? Easier Way To Take Vitamins

Published on March 22nd, 2023

Last updated on March 23rd, 2023

Are you familiar with the pain while taking medication? It is a widespread problem among people. Because many people do not know that the use of medications has specific rules. So, if you encounter difficulties while swallowing vitamins, pay attention to these tips:

  • Mix the tablets with food;
  • Take liquid supplements;
  • Swallow the tablets with water;
  • Tilt your head 30-40 degrees when swallowing vitamins.

Difficulty swallowing food is common. It mainly occurs in the elderly or those with neurological diseases. Often, patients do not take their medications as prescribed because it’s hard to swallow them. Sometimes people resort to crushing hard pills to make them easier to take. But you can not do that with all medicines. Some vitamins or tablets have a specific shell that you can not crush in half. After all, this makes them ineffective and incorrect for use. Thus, you should ease swallowing vitamins using specific methods rather than taking them incorrectly.

Why Do You Have Difficulty Swallowing Vitamins?

There are several reasons for this, both physiological and pathological. The fact is that there are three main phases of swallowing. It includes the oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal phases. But there is no last phase. Because you are unlikely to wait for the moment when the pill is moistened with saliva. And saliva helps our food lump to transition into the pharyngeal phase smoothly:

  • It takes to swallow and push the food lump into the stomach is about 12 seconds. 
  • In the esophageal phase, the esophagus walls compress what you have consumed. But they reflexively move to the lower alimentary sphincter. 
  • The lower sphincter prevents food that has entered the stomach from returning to the esophagus. 
  • If the sphincter is not working correctly, you experience heartburn and discomfort.
  • That is, swallowing vitamins sticks to the mucous membrane of the esophagus. 
  • The esophagus tries to push it through, but it takes longer. 
  • Then, the tablet lingers in the upper parts of the esophagus. And you feel that something is bothering you in the throat area. 
  • That is why you find it hard to swallow vitamins.

The following reasons for difficulty swallowing pills and vitamins are dysphagia. It can also be a food allergy, mucous membrane edema, and esophageal neoplasms. So, you need to find its cause to prevent the problem. After all, it can be either a simple lack of liquid for swallowing pills or a pathology. And this is a severe problem. Thus, it is necessary to determine the cause of its appearance as early as possible.

How to Swallow Vitamins Correctly?

For correct swallowing, you need to follow the instructions and techniques. Medicines and supplements can help you feel nice and get better. But if you do not follow the instructions, taking them can only harm you. After all, ingesting is a critical skill. 

Many medications come in chewable or liquid form. But others need to be taken in tablet, capsule, or pill form. In fact, some pills or vitamins are for swallowing whole. And you do not need to crush or chew them. Taking them this way can be dangerous or cause the medicine not to work as well as it should. So, to avoid difficulty swallowing pills and vitamins, you need to follow instructions. With their help, you can prevent side effects and other negative consequences. So there is detailed guidance:

For tabletsTake the bottle and fill it with water. Place the tablet on your tongue and press your lips tightly against the neck of the bottle. Start drinking from the bottle. Do not let air get inside the bottle. Squeeze it with your hand to increase the flow. Tilt your head to 30-40 degrees and start swallowing vitamins.
For capsulesPlace the capsule on your tongue. Take a moderate sip of water, but do not try to swallow the capsule yet. Tilt your head down as if you want to reach your chin to your chest. Swallow the capsule with water, keeping your head in this position.
One more wayTry to put the tablet in the mouth and as close as possible to the pharynx. Help with this with your fingers. Open your mouth wide and push your finger closer to the edge. Then, without closing your mouth, take a quick gulp of water. The pill should, as it were, get into the throat by itself.

You can have dysphagia or a swallowing disorder if it’s hard to swallow vitamins. In this case, you should consult your doctor about this. So you can detect the disease early and not lead to worse consequences.

Easy Ways to Solve Difficulty Swallowing Pills Vitamins

difficulty swallowing pills vitamins

First, for easy swallowing pills, you need to drink them with water. Usually, your brain reacts unconsciously when you are ready to consume food. But when you consume a lollipop, you will find two opposite consistencies in your mouth. It is liquid and solid. The inability to chew it destabilizes the coordination and synchronicity of the involved mechanisms. It causes coughing or choking.

Often, it is hard to swallow vitamins during solid substance intake. So, it can be an explanation for taking vitamins with semi-solid textures. But there are also other solutions if you have severe problems with swallowing vitamins. And we have prepared some tips on how you can do it easier and more painlessly:

1. Take liquid supplements

Liquid supplements have the same effect as regular pills. They are easier to swallow and take in general. So, switch to liquid drops if you find it hard to swallow vitamins:

  • They do not cause pain in the throat due to the inability to consume them painlessly. 
  • You only need to drink the drops. 
  • It does not cause any discomfort or extra effort. 
  • Drink a couple of drops, and it will give the same effect as pills or vitamins in capsules. 

Such drops can be both for immunity and mental health. And this gives an even more significant advantage of their use.

2. Drink plenty of water

Drinking enough water is one of the fastest ways to solve difficulty swallowing pills and vitamins. Before you put the tablet in your mouth:

  • Try to take a big gulp of water.
  • After consuming the medicine, drink water again.
  • Drink it with about a glass of water, so the pill passes through the esophagus faster. 

3. Take the tablet with food

If it is hard to swallow vitamins, try using food. It can be a cracker or a simple piece of bread:

  • Chew it before taking the capsule. But do not swallow.
  • When you chew it completely, take the pill and add it to it.
  • Close your mouth and swallow the food along with the tablet.

But be attentive. Some medicines should be taken on an empty stomach. So, you should consult a doctor or read the instructions before doing this.

4. Eat honey

You can take tablets with honey. As this product facilitates their passage through the throat:

  • Take a spoon full of honey and place the pill in the center of the spoon.
  • Be sure to push the tablet deep into the honey.
  • Then, swallow the prepared spoonful of honey with the pill.
  • After that, drink the mix with water.
  • Moistening your throat with water before and after it can help ease swallowing vitamins.

5. Use a straw

Some people find it easier to swallow the pill with water that is sucked through a straw:

  • Place the tablet on the base of the tongue.
  • Start drinking water through a straw while consuming tablets.
  • Continue to drink after ingesting the tablet to help it pass through the esophagus.

When you drink through a straw, it works out your mouth muscles. Accordingly, it facilitates difficulty swallowing pills and vitamins.


Many people have problems with swallowing vitamins. And it can be either due to illness or simply due to the inability to do it. In any case, this is a problem that you need to solve. And the best way is to switch to liquid supplements or drink more water. In extreme cases, you should consult a doctor. It helps determine the cause of the problem and treat it.


Will the pill stuck in the throat go away?

Yes. If you feel pain after swallowing the pill, don’t panic. Usually, this discomfort passes after 30-60 minutes. For it to pass faster, you can drink a lot of water and eat a piece of bread.

Can you train yourself to swallow pills?

Yes. There are many techniques for learning how to swallow pills correctly. One of them is ingesting medications with your head down. Put the tablet in your mouth and take a big gulp of water. Tilt your head up while swallowing.

Can a stuck pill damage your esophagus?

If your pill gets stuck in your esophagus, it can cause damage to your esophagus. It happens because the capsules damage the tissues of the esophagus. But it passes when the pill goes entirely to the stomach.

How much water should you drink to swallow vitamins?

For the vitamin to pass freely through the esophagus, drink it with a glass of water. If you can not drink a glass of water, drink at least 100 milliliters.

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