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  #1  
Old 10-17-2006, 01:49 AM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Do Pills Get Stuck In Your Throat, Or Just Feels Like It?

Sometimes when I take a big pill, I will feel something in my throat for a long time afterwards. Even if I drink tons of water and swallow a hundred times, I can still feel something there. Can a pill get stuck somehow in there, even with all that swallowing? What would hold it there- seems like it would be a smooth and easy passageway.

What's up with that?
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2006, 02:34 AM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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The pill may have caused some irritation at one point in you esophagus. The irritation causes a bit of swelling, that feels like an obstruction.

The way I swallow pills is to take some water into your mouth, lean your head back, drop the pills into the water, and swallow. They go down much easier than if you just follow the pills with water. If you're swallowing capsules, lean your head forward before swallowing, the capsules, being lighter than water, float up to the back of the mouth, gulp, gone, like they were never there.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2006, 03:01 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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I had this problem for years (if it's the same of course) and I even resorted to having to break quite small tablets in half. Whilst they can seem like they are caught in your throat, it is more likely (as Picunurse has said) to be lower down.

In my case took a few years of doctors to work it all out (hey this was years ago) and eventually an endoscopy and medication to stop reflux. No problems any longer.
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2006, 03:58 AM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is offline
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My mother had to take 32 pills every day. After complaining of problems swallowing the bigger ones her doctor suggested she never lean her head back when she swallowed them, but instead to take a drink, hold it in her mouth, take the pills then swallow, looking down slightly. This supposedly keeps the throat open more and your tongue pushes the pills back anyway when you swallow. When you eat dinner you don't toss your head back when you swallow a big hunk o' meat, so why toss your head back for a little pill?

She never had the lumpy sore throat feeling again after trying his suggestion. I've been taking pills like this for years and I've never had the problem myself so maybe it's worth a try?
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2006, 04:00 AM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is offline
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Well crap. That'll teach me to reply without reading the posts ahead of me. I should know better by now.
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2006, 04:00 AM
Aunt Flow Aunt Flow is offline
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I've never had that problem.....I don't even usually drink water with my pills. Just down the hatch. Maybe coat it in butter like for a dog?
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2006, 03:15 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero
In my case took a few years of doctors to work it all out (hey this was years ago) and eventually an endoscopy and medication to stop reflux. No problems any longer.
I'm interested to know what the doctors discovered that solved your problem? Was it a hiatus hernia by any chance, or simply acid reflux? I can't see how reflux on its own would cause the problem.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2006, 06:15 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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I've seen pictures taken via endoscope of pills adhering to the esophageal lining, so yes it does happen.

Sometimes it helps to eat a piece of bread along with drinking liquids, if you have that foreign body sensation in your esophagus after swallowing pills or eating something.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2006, 06:23 PM
dwyr dwyr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushgeekgirl
My mother had to take 32 pills every day. After complaining of problems swallowing the bigger ones her doctor suggested she never lean her head back when she swallowed them, but instead to take a drink, hold it in her mouth, take the pills then swallow, looking down slightly. This supposedly keeps the throat open more and your tongue pushes the pills back anyway when you swallow. When you eat dinner you don't toss your head back when you swallow a big hunk o' meat, so why toss your head back for a little pill?

She never had the lumpy sore throat feeling again after trying his suggestion. I've been taking pills like this for years and I've never had the problem myself so maybe it's worth a try?

This is what nurses at my hospital recommend to patients for all pills. I find even large pills easier to swallow if I take a drink and keep my head down a little. Putting my head up seems to narrow my throat too much.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2006, 07:55 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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I take both big pills and little pills at the same time. I have learned the best way for me to take these pills is to sit up correctly, to drink a lot of something, then take the pills with an equal amount of liquid.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:46 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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For some reason I have this problem with round pills. I've never had any problems (up until recently*) with anysize capsule type pill. Those herbal ones (the 000 size if you buy them empty) no problem, I can even swallow several at once. But something round like a tylenol. Stuck. And I don't mean 'feels like it's stuck' I mean actually stuck. Until I get my self to regurgitate it back out, I can't swallow anything else, not even water, if I try it doesn't go anywhere. It's a horrible feeling and very painful.

I'll have to try this method sometime. I'd love to get over it. It's awful when I have a splitting headache and can't take anything because someone only has round tylenols and I don't want to sit there and cut them into little pieces.

*Recently I've had problems with larger capsules (ie nyquil), but I'm not sure why, it might just be psychological, but I worry it might be something physical as well since I've had it happen with food as well.
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:19 PM
Raygun99 Raygun99 is offline
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Apologies if this is a hijack, but why exactly is it that so many people think tilting their head back is the "proper" way to swallow pills? Do they eat like this too?
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:20 PM
R. P. McMurphy R. P. McMurphy is offline
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There are viruses (such as the Coxsakie Virus) . . .

coxsakie virus

. . . that can cause an inflamation of the uvula (the little punching bag in the back of the throat). If the uvula gets substantially irritated or inflamed it can feel like there is an obstruction in the throat. In some cases that can make a person feel like there is a pill stuck in their throat.

That's not to say that this is what's necessarily happening in your case but it is a possibility. (Coxsakie virus is common this time of year.)
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:39 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
I've seen pictures taken via endoscope of pills adhering to the esophageal lining, so yes it does happen.

Sometimes it helps to eat a piece of bread along with drinking liquids, if you have that foreign body sensation in your esophagus after swallowing pills or eating something.

Ah. Hmmm. I don't like bread. Will chocolate do?


Thanks!
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:51 PM
minor7flat5 minor7flat5 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse
The way I swallow pills is to take some water into your mouth, lean your head back, drop the pills into the water, and swallow. They go down much easier than if you just follow the pills with water. If you're swallowing capsules, lean your head forward before swallowing, the capsules, being lighter than water, float up to the back of the mouth, gulp, gone, like they were never there.
I always used the head-down method of taking pills quite successfully until my doctor prescribed a medication that came in little football-shaped pills that are like lead fishing line sinkers. I had to start using your drop-in-the-water technique then.
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2006, 01:28 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
I'm interested to know what the doctors discovered that solved your problem? Was it a hiatus hernia by any chance, or simply acid reflux? I can't see how reflux on its own would cause the problem.
First surfaced in the 80's and I wasn't in a large city with great medical facilities. However, I had a hiatus hernia which I had an operation to treat (never worked) and reflux continued to cause scarring and strictures. So, every now and then I would have to go in for a stretch (that is stretch the oesophagus and break the scarring). That would happen every 12 months or so. However, with more modern medication to treat the reflux it virtually is no longer a problem.
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