By McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals

Swallowing Made Simple:

  • Swallowing is a natural reaction that occurs when something is on the back of your tongue.
  • It’s like a roller coaster: once the pill goes over the back part of your tongue, gravity and the muscles in your throat help it go down smoothly.
  • Your body is designed to keep you from choking when swallowing a pill. A muscle in the throat pulls the windpipe (what you breathe through) up under a flap called the epiglottis.
  • The epiglottis closes like a lid over your windpipe, sending the pill smoothly down the food-pipe (esophagus).

Tips on Swallowing:

  • Sit or stand up straight.
  • Don’t talk.
  • Gargle for 30 seconds before you begin swallowing.
  • Take one or two swallows of milk or juice before you take your pill to help make your tongue and throat more slippery.
  • Swallow twice just to make sure your pill goes all the way down.

Easy Pill Swallowing Tricks:

1)     Slippery Fish Swallow- Pretend you love water like a fish. Place the pill inside your mouth, and drink as much water as you can – holding the water in your cheeks. Now, take a few big gulps until all the water in your mouth is gone, along with the pill.

2)     Crazy Crab Swallow- Pretend you are a crazy crab with pinchers on your hand. Place your pill on the back of your tongue and fill your mouth with your favorite drink. Now close your mouth and use your pinchers to tickle your throat as you swallow.

3)     Alien Slimy Swallow- Aliens seem to like things that are slimy, like ooze, to help make their throats more slippery. Practice the alien slimy swallow by taking your pill with a teaspoon of slippery food, such as applesauce, yogurt, or pudding.

4)     Lazy Lizard Swallow- To catch the bugs, a lizard needs to eat.The lizard places them on the tip of his tongue and then swallows hard. Try to be a lizard –place your pill on the very tip of your tongue. Take a drink, and tilt your head back as fast as you can.