how to swallow pills bigger than a pea: a primer for people like us

December 25, 2013 § 1 Comment



UPDATE 2016: ice cream. ice cream is the best throat lube in town. thick and sticky enough to coat even the biggest pills, tasty enough to mask any pill odors or flavors that might make swallowing additionally difficult. it’s the only thing i use anymore.


i’ve developed osteoporosis in my mid-30s from a lifetime of underweight caused by mental intensity of various kinds. not eating has been the go-to compulsive ritual historically triggered by decades of otherwise unmanaged anxiety, and it’s had profound consequences for my bone density. i was informed by a traditional doctor recently that i should take one of the osteoporosis drugs they market for older women – boniva or fosamax or similar. i didn’t want to do this as the drugs have not been tested on or evaluated for effectiveness in pre-menopausal women, yet have some gnarly side effects (remember phossy jaw, from 19th century working conditions in match factories? hell naw). so i visited a naturopath for a second opinion.

she ran a test that measured my bone metabolism (which is the ratio of bone building to bone destroying chemicals, which gives a better picture of where your bones are at than the DEXA scan normally used) and then prescribed a shit ton of bone building nutritional supplements, and also brain supplements to treat the underlying anxiety/depression issues. which is all cool in that i have an alternative to the boniva stuff but also presents its own challenge, in that i am a terrible pill swallower. terrible. and i’m now supposed to take about 15-20 pills a day. it doesn’t help that my anxiety and depression has historically manifested as issues around swallowing, eating, and vomiting–fears of things entering and exiting my stomach. but as i am now trying to heal the physical results of this underlying mental history, it’s a challenge i’m determined to deal with.

one of the upsides is that i’ve compiled a short list of unlikely tips for others in my boat. so, here are some pill swallowing tips for those who have a hard time swallowing pills: « Read the rest of this entry »

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