If you let a pill that readily dissolves...

… a pill such as ambien, protonix, aspirin, etc., dissolve in your mouth as opposed to swallowing it with a glass of water, would the medication get into the bloodstream faster? Might having the pill “melt in your mouth” be more or less efficacious?

I can’t imagine as it would have any benefit, since pill chemistry is formulated with the intent of dissolving in your stomach, which they do fairly rapidly with the exception of time-release formulations. And those you do NOT want to pre-dissolve anyhow. Plus lots of medications taste nasty.

Unless the pill is specifically designed to be “sublingual” you lose effectiveness.

All medication is designed to be most effective as properly taken. That means in the bloodsteam for i.v.'s, in the mouth for sublingual, in the intestines for pills, etc.

Thanks. I was just wondering.

It would seem like saliva wouldn’t be much of a match for stomach acid. Now, if you chewed some larger meds, maybe…

No. The pill is designed to be buffered against stomach acid to allow the medicine to move undamaged into the intestine, where the actual absorption takes place. Many pills come with a warning label that they are to be swallowed and not chewed.

I think a lot of pills come with that warning because chewing will alter the behavior of the time release mechanism and might make the pill deliver a bigger dosage over a shorter period of time.

I believe that other pills besides time release carry this warning. I’m sure I’ve seen it on pills that I’ve taken.

Thank you all for your excellent advice. I’ll take all my pills as directed from now on.

Not to muddy the waters, but the latest advice for people who think they’re having a heart attack (barring other conditions that prevent them from taking aspirin) is to chew an aspirin so it will be absorbed faster.

For taking regular medication, I’m sure that if the pills worked better when chewed, the manufacturer would make them in a chewable form.

Note: Of course, if you think you’re having a heart attack, the very first thing to do is to call 911, not to self-treat.

How does this work exactly? How does the pill survive against stomach acids but then get absorbed in the intestine?

The stomach is a very acidic environment, while the small intestines are slightly basic. You can make drug capsules from stuff that only dissolve in a basic environment.