is it OK to chew or crush your medication?

Some persons are incapable of swallowing tablets due to bodily causes, resembling surgical procedure or gastric reflux, whereas others wrestle for psychological causes. What can these folks do when the physician prescribes a drug that is available in pill kind?

The usual pill is designed to be swallowed complete. As soon as within the abdomen, it absorbs water, which causes it to swell and break aside. Because it breaks aside, the drug dissolves over a predictable time frame, will get absorbed into the bloodstream and strikes across the physique.

Some folks find yourself chewing tablets or crushing them up and mixing them with their meals, however this may generally trigger the medication to not work correctly. In some instances, ingesting a crushed pill may even lead to demise.

Necessary clues

For various causes some tablets shouldn’t be crushed or chewed. Most significantly, doing so might lead to dose dumping; that is when the physique in a short time absorbs a considerable amount of a drug. One consequence of dose dumping is an overdose of the drug, which might result in demise.

Some tablets additionally include a particular protecting layer, known as an enteric coating, which is designed to cease it from breaking up within the abdomen. The coating ensures the pill disintegrates within the small gut as an alternative. Should you chew an enterically coated pill, the drug won’t be absorbed correctly and the medication could also be ineffective.

Tablets designed to be chewed have this indicated on their packaging. That is frequent for medication designed for younger youngsters and sure forms of tablets resembling multivitamins.

Some medicines are additionally particularly made right into a chewable kind, resembling some aspirin tablets and sure antacids. These are frequent medicines which may be taken frequently, and by folks identified to have hassle swallowing tablets.

The packaging of most medicines has a printed warning in the event that they shouldn’t be chewed.
Ano Lobb/Flickr, CC BY

The packaging of most different medicines could have a printed warning if the tablets shouldn’t be chewed or crushed. A warning sticker could also be positioned on the field by the pharmacist when she dispenses the medication, or the directions on the again of the field will state that the medication shouldn’t be crushed.

The identical guidelines apply for capsules and caplets. Search for a warning on the field earlier than you try to chew them or minimize them open. However this is applicable solely to the stable types of capsules. Should you’re taking a gelcap formulation (a mushy, liquid-filled pill), then it’s by no means all proper to chew or minimize it open. And for those who’re in any doubt, ask your pharmacist as she’ll be capable to offer you a definitive reply.

The alternate options

Should you aren’t in a position to swallow tablets and your physician has simply prescribed you a drugs that is available in a pill or capsule formulation, then it’s worthwhile asking your pharmacist whether or not she will present the medication in a distinct kind.

Compounding pharmacies could make their very own formulations of some medication. It could be potential for them to dispense the medication to you as an answer, syrup or an elixir, that are all liquid medication formulations. And for those who’re up for one thing totally different, they can formulate a suppository for you.

Suppositories are drug formulations designed to be positioned within the rectum. As an alternative of disintegrating like a pill does within the abdomen, a suppository is designed to soften and launch the drug. Most suppositories are constructed from the identical fat and oils present in chocolate, which trigger the suppositories to soften when positioned within the physique.

A suppository is helpful for individuals who can’t swallow tablets for any variety of causes. These might embody regular grownup sufferers, however they’re notably helpful for infants, folks with swollen throats or extreme nausea, or anybody who’s unconscious.

What you want to keep in mind is that in case you have issue swallowing tablets, test the medication field and ask your pharmacist whether or not it might be all proper to chew or crush your medication. A lot of the time, this will probably be effective. If it’s not, ask your pharmacist if she will present another formulation.

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