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Q: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: eestudent-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 03 Aug 2006 21:21 PDT
Expires: 02 Sep 2006 21:21 PDT
Question ID: 752409
Why are some medicines/vitamins labeled chewable? Does that imply that
others cannot be chewed? Can I chew regular medicine (tablets and
capsules)? Is there anything bad done to the mouth? I cannot make
myself swallow the thing.

Are regular tablets assumed to be chewed or swallowed?

A note about my questions. If you were to search for my previous
questions, you will understand a few things. First of all, I do not
want you to do a Google search. This question (and the low price) is
for those who know the question already. Second, I could use free
services by other companies. I ask questions here because I would like
an answer. However, I am not looking for an exessively authorative
answer. Anything beyond the simple answer (following generally the way
of the question, but in any direction you want) will be appreciated
and will be rewarded by a tip.
Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 07 Aug 2006 09:13 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello eestudent-ga!

It?s nice to have a chance to answer another of your questions. I
enjoy regular Google Answers customers. I asked my husband (a family
physician) for the answer to your question and here is what he told
me. This answer is not intended to substitute for the opinion of a
qualified health professional that you trust. If you have any specific
concerns or questions you should discuss them with him or her.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Medications and vitamins labeled ?chewable? have a couple of
properties that are important. First, they supposedly taste good. That
is, of course, a matter of personal opinion. Another thing is that
chewable medications must either be able to survive the saliva in the
mouth and the acids in the stomach in order to be absorbed further
down the digestive tract, or they must be substances that are absorbed
in the mouth or stomach primarily. If a medication is not specifically
labeled as ?chewable? then it is intended to be swallowed whole.
Liquids can, of course, be swallowed as they are. :)

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As was mentioned by pinkfreud-ga, there are medications that cannot be
chewed without having potentially bad outcomes. There are two classes
of medications in particular that should not be chewed. Time-release
and enteric-coated medications.

Time-release medications are those designed to be released slowly
rather than all at once. This is usually done to reduce the number of
times a day a particular medication must be taken. With pain
medications it is done to create a more stable amount of narcotic in
the blood stream so that pain is controlled on a long-term basis. For
example, Oxycontin is a sustained-release form of oxycodone, taken
twice a day. Most immediate-release narcotics are taken anywhere from
every 1 to 6 hours. If one were to chew an Oxycontin tablet he or she
would receive a dose that was equal to anywhere from 2 to 12 doses of
a shorter acting pain pill! Too much for one person to handle.

Many blood pressure medications and anti-depressants are made in
time-release forms, as well as a number of other medications.
Medications labeled as ?XR,? ?CR,? ?XL,? and the like are often
time-release forms, but you would need to call your pharmacist to
confirm this.

Enteric-coated (EC) medications are designed to resist digestion in
the stomach to prevent adverse effects. Aspirin and ibuprofen are two
medications that are commonly used in an enteric form. While you could
chew these, you would be opening yourself up to side effects that the
EC tablets were trying to avoid in the first place, namely stomach
irritation, ulceration, and bleeding. Also, aspirin and similar
medications can cause ulceration of the mucous membranes in the mouth,
so the less time it spends in your mouth, the better.

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There are many, many medications that can be chewed or crushed before
swallowing, without affecting how well the particular drug works. A
common practice is to crush a pill and mix it with something like
applesauce to improve the palatability and make it easier to swallow.
Again, if you ask your pharmacist, he or she can tell you which of
your medications can be taken this way. Some are even soluble enough
that you can mix them with water or juice and take them that way.

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There are more and more medications being reformulated as ?solu-tabs?
or ?readi-tabs? or some other dissolving form. These are placed under
the tongue or simply in the mouth, and then the tablet ?melts.? Along
with being a great way to extend a patent, it can also make the
medicine easier to take.

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I hope that you find this information useful! If you have any need of
further clarification, please let me know how I can help.

eestudent-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $15.00
Great answer. For those who might refer to this to answer my future questions:

See, a professional opinion is what I like! No Geegle searches are needed!

Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
From: pinkfreud-ga on 04 Aug 2006 13:52 PDT
Many tablets that are not described as "chewable" will have an
unpleasant taste if you chew them. If a time-release drug is chewed,
too much of the active ingredient may be released at once, which can
be dangerous.
Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
From: eestudent-ga on 04 Aug 2006 15:54 PDT
Yes, pinkfreud, the taste is horrible. Also, most of the capsule feels
like goes to the teeth rather than stomach. Besides time-release (how
common? which ones?) do other negative effects exist like capsules
being harmful to teeth, etc?
Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
From: pinkfreud-ga on 04 Aug 2006 15:59 PDT
Chewing aspirin or other highly acidic medications can be bad for your
teeth and can cause mouth ulcers:
Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
From: eestudent-ga on 04 Aug 2006 16:31 PDT
Eight aspirins per day? Wow!

I rarely had to take any medications. During those rare times that I
take aspiring, non-chewable vitamins and minerals, and herbal
supplements, whether in capsule or tablet, I cannot swallow either
form. I just cannot.
Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
From: boquinha-ga on 07 Aug 2006 15:57 PDT
Wow! It is a PLEASURE to answer your questions! :) Thank you very much
for the comments, 5 stars, and the very generous tip, too! I currently
have another of your questions locked! :)

Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
From: pinkfreud-ga on 07 Aug 2006 16:17 PDT

Many medications are available in liquid form. If you have difficulty
with pills, a liquid can be a great alternative. Sometimes liquid
medicines are marketed as being for children, but there will generally
be information on the label about an appropriate dosage for an adult.
I use a lot of liquid medications. I've had my colon and part of my
small intestine removed, and some kinds of tablets and capsules don't
dissolve and are not absorbed by my system. If you can't find a liquid
version of a medication, ask your pharmacist. He or she might be able
to prepare one for you.
Subject: Re: Chewable vs. capsules and tablets medicine.
From: boquinha-ga on 02 Dec 2006 19:32 PST
Another fun one! Thanks!


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