Pills are made to have really awful tastes. Having to grind these pills with your teeth, and getting your tongue immersed in the bitterness of the pill could seem too difficult a task to do.
So, can you swallow chewable pills rather than having to go through the bitter rigor?
Before we state the answer you seek, there are a few things you need to know about pills and why a doctor loves to prescribe some as chewable and others as swallowable.
This article states if you can swallow chewable pills and states any side effects you could have from swallowing pills that were meant to be chewed.
Can you swallow chewable pills? Find out in the proceeding paragraphs.
Taking Oral Medication
The most common way people take medication is orally.
Depending on what your healthcare provider decides, your oral medication may be swallowed, chewed, or placed under your tongue to dissolve it.
The medicine you swallow is from the stomach or intestines into the bloodstream and is carried to all parts of your body.
This process is known as absorption. The rate of absorption depends on a number of factors such as:
- Type of medication you are taking (eg, liquid or tablet)
- Whether you are taking your medication with food, after meals, or on an empty stomach.
- The ability of your medicine to pass into your bloodstream (some drugs are bound to slowly dissolve in your stomach)
- How your medication reacts to acid conditions in your stomach
- Whether your medication interacts with other medicines you are taking at the same time.
If you wish for an immediate result, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication that will dissolve in your mouth and immediately enter your bloodstream.
Taking Chewable Pills
Chewing pills is a form of oral administration that is intended to be chewed and swallowed by a patient rather than swallowed whole.
It is usually designed in a way that makes it easy to be chewed and swallowed. Chewing pills should be safe and easy to use in a variety of pediatric or adult patients who are unable or unwilling to swallow hard pills due to tablet size or difficulty swallowing.
The availability of safe, easy-to-use dosage forms is essential for clinical practice. Chewing pills are available over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug products.
Chewing pills should be chewed until completely melted. They should not be swallowed whole.
Examples of chewing pills include Tylenol Chewable and many vitamin products for children.
The Essential Qualities of Chewable Tablets
The essential qualities of chewable tablets should include hardness, and dispersion, as well as all factors that may contribute to drug discovery and bioequivalence balance.
Additionally, tablet size, density, and taste should be noted, which may affect a patient’s ability or willingness to chew on a chewable tablet (i.e., a patient may swallow whole, rather than chew, a bad taste tablet).
No single quality feature is considered sufficient to control the performance of a chewable tablet.
Instead, the goal should be to make an appropriate combination of these features to ensure the performance of the chewing tablet for its intended use.
Let’s take you through some of these essential qualities.
The strength of the chewing gum should be such that it can withstand the difficulties of drug production, packaging, shipping, and distribution, as well as being easily chewed by a number of targeted patients.
Strength is usually measured as the force required to break a tablet in a given plane.
An index has been developed that incorporates tablet hardness features with the burden of breaking the tablet to formulate a numerical value that can be used to compare one chewing pill with another.
The time required for a tablet to split into smaller particles is known as its time of dispersion. In chewable pills, the dispersion time should be short enough to prevent GI blockade in sugar.
The absorption of a drug from chewable pills depends on the removal of the drug substance from complete or chewable tablets.
Therefore, in vitro detoxification tests for chewable pills should follow the principles of regular IR detoxification dosage tests.
That is, the active ingredient of chewable tablets should be dispersed sufficiently out of the tablet.
In order to identify the product character during development, in vitro dissolution tests must be performed on fixed tablets in at least four sources, such as water, aqueous media at pH 1.2, buffered aqueous media at pH 4.5, and buffered aqueous media.
Chewable Pills Should be Chewed
Chewable tabs should be chewed!
If the information displayed on the drug label says the drug has to be chewed, then you have a duty to follow this strictly.
The standard is to have your child should drink a glass of water, a squash, or juice after swallowing a chewable pill.
Can You Swallow Chewable Pills?
Yes, most chewable pills can be swallowed whole without problems. Chewing pills are designed and made to separate the mouth, help people with swallowing problems, or increase hearing.
When chewing pills are swallowed whole, the acid in our stomach will dissolve them.
It is very rare to find a tablet that is strictly prescribed to be chewed and not swallowed.
One such example is the prescription drug Fosrenol (lanthanum carbonate). Following drug withdrawal, there were reports of severe GI blockage and seizures when the chewing pills were swallowed whole.
The above is an unusual example, however. In most cases, you can feel safe to swallow whole chewing pills if you like.
If you have a question about a particular product, contact your pharmacist or check the package label.
Pill Swallowing Tips
Swallowing pills can be an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience for some.
If you have trouble swallowing pills, there are things you can do to make this process easier.
For example, German researchers found success through the following process called the “pop bottle method.” This process is tested with pills.
- Open a water bottle or use a soda bottle full of water.
- Put the tablet on your tongue and close your mouth near the opening of the bottle.
- Tilt your head back and keep your mouth closed in a water bottle. Do not let any air in your mouth. Drink water from your mouth and swallow the tablet with water.
You must discuss this with your healthcare provider before attempting any of the tips listed here. In addition, if you have frequent swallowing problems, you need to get tested to verify your condition.
Yes, you can swallow most chewable pills. Of course, you know you need your doctor’s prescription to do this.
Therefore, if you feel you prefer to swallow rather than chew, you must get your doctor’s express consent, so you don’t end up swallowing a drug that should have been chewed, thereby negating the effect of the drug and worsening your condition.
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