T Nation

swallowing pills-problem

Hey forum,

I’m having some problems after swallowing all the pills I take during the course of a day: Hot Roxx, fish oil caps, multi’s, myostat. Since Hot Roxx is taken on an empty stomach, it seems they get stuck in my esophagaus. Then the problem gets compounded when I add the multi’s and fish oil caps periodically throughout the day. I have a pain in the middle of my chest and then the food gets stuck and I end up having to throw some of it up.

I went and got an upper GI series and it didn’t show any esophagitis, reflux, ulcers or hiatal hernias. nothing.

I don’t want to have to stop taking the pills, especially Hot Roxx. Anybody have the same problems? Any sugestions?

Thanks in advance.

Drink lots of water with your Hot Rox. What you have or don’t have in your stomach has nothing to do with the ability of a pill to travel down your esophagus.

I dont think empty stomach means without water.

do you drink anything with them? I have no problems swallowing pills so its tough to emphathize with you. Be sure to drink alot with them. And if im not mistaken, even though it may feel like they are still there, peristalsis should carry them down for you. someone correct me if im wrong on this. its been a while since my last anatomy class.

Let me clarify: when I am eating food, it’s easier to swallow the pills, as they get transported easier. When it’s just the pills, sans the food, the problem arises.

I’ll try drinking alot more H20 with them tomorrow and see if it helps. thanks.

Not sure how you’re taking them, but I find I can get more pills down if I hold a swig of water in my mouth, then throw the pill(s) in. They don’t tend to get “stuck” as much that way.

Also, knowing you have this problem, I hope you’re taking the pills one at a time with plenty of water and stopping if it feels like one of them didn’t go down all the way. I would also suggest you ditch the fish oil caps and get a quality brand fish oil liquid like Carlson’s. Fish pills are so damn big that even I sometimes have problems with them.

What Tyler said. I always try to take a drink before the pills and make sure my mouth is wet so they don’t stick to my tongue.
If you’re getting that weird heartburny-burping the pills up feeling, I would definitely try taking them one at a time, deep slow breaths, and lots of water.

Amen to that, Tyler! I need to have the mouth full of water first, so I can tilt my head back and throw the pill(s) in. The real advantage to this is that you can take pills more easily at a water fountain–no popping it in and THEN leaning over to swig, and risking the pill coming out.

Ive never understood having problems swallowing pills. do you have the same problem swallowing food without water? Its got to be a mental thing.

Whats the most amount of pills you swallow in one mouthfull? Since adding 12 fish oil caps a day, plus my multi, fiber pills, etc., I sometimes swallow 5 pills at a time. A couple of times I almost choked, but no real problems.

You arent taking the fish oil pills on an empty stomach are you? That’s a recipe for disaster. Those of you who have gotten the burps know what I mean.

Try this:

Take a few swallows of water. Put the pills in your mouth and get them a little wet with water. Then take another drink and swallow the pills with a few extra gulps of water to chase it down.

I completely empathize with your situation. I am a horrible pill swallower, and yes Goldberg, it’s mental. Can’t say why exactly, but I gag and vomit on anything larger than a pinhead sized pill, have ever since I was a kid. I MUST take pills with food. Applesauce usually. And yes, some pills need to be taken on an empty stomach but I doubt the [<]quarter cup of applesauce will kill any benefits of the pills. I’d recommend trying to down them with the smallest amount of applesauce (or simliar consistancy thing) possible.

It sounds very much like Schatsky’s Ring which is a muscular growth around the esophogus that causes a constiction making it difficult to swallow large or hard food types. I would have thought it would show up on an upper GI test but I believe it sometimes takes an endoscopy to detect it. The only cure that I know of is periodic dilation of the ring. Ask your gastroenterologist about this possibility.

Thanks for all the help and advice.

I never had this problem until a few weeks ago. In fact, if there are any oldtimers here, I used to be able to swallow a whole Animal Pak at once, which was like 10 pills!

Avoid Roids brings up a real good point. I was thinking it may be Schatscke’s Ring (sp?) or an espohageal pouch. Gonna see a GI doc REAL SOON because I tried all the techniques you guys gave ma and still yakked twice today, and STILL fell like I have a pill caught in my esophagaus. It sucks.

Fat Fast Diet–here I come!

I’ve had the same problems periodically. It seems to come and go and I can’t figure it out, seems like my esophagus just tightens up and won’t let me swallow any type of pills and when I do they seem to get stuck. This is kind’ve nasty but what I do is either break them in 1/2 or just chew the damn things up. I always take my pills just before i brush my teeth for that reason. :slight_smile:

it think it is because you dont chew food so there is less saliva to carry the pills, and the gelatin capsule can stick when moist, therefore lodging in the esophagus.
I however have becoming a pill popping machine…years of trialing crap supplements… least i have one skill

my vet recommended coating some pills for my dog in olive oil as they start to dissolve very fast when wet and will stuck to the throat and make the dog choke. i don’t think the tiny amount of olive oil would affect the pill, and it would come off fast on it’s way down the throat. perhaps this could help you. it helped my dog. plus, i’ve tried it myself and you can’t taste the pill as much. i also do the water in the mouth first trick. in order to get better at swallowing pills when i was younger, i practiced swallowing M&M’s. it worked, i can take 5 or 6 small vitamins at once, and my CLO caps. (i can’t do the liquid, it makes me burp).