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Q: Pill stuck in throat? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Pill stuck in throat?
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: sadie1973-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 02 Feb 2004 12:36 PST
Expires: 03 Mar 2004 12:36 PST
Question ID: 302880
I started taking the following 4 days ago: 
Evening Primrose Oil 1350mg
chromium 200mcg
cal/mag 500mg/250mg
Twin Lab Daily One w/iron
cayenne 450mg 100,000 heat unit 

I have had the feeling of a pill stuck in my throat for 3 days now.
The Evening Primrose Oil pills are rather large, but I wondered if
this could be a reaction to a vitamin/supplement?
Today I took a cayenne pill and it burned in my throat/chest (not heartburn). 
What can I do to "unstick" a pill?
Subject: Re: Pill stuck in throat?
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 02 Feb 2004 16:55 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi sadie1973,

It may sound odd to some, but lots of people have had this problem!
Why, those famous pollsters, Harris Interactive, have even conducted a
survey on this topic! Harris found out that 40% of Americans have or
have had pill swallowing problems - ?Most people that had problems
taking pills described the sensations as  having a pill stuck in their
throat (80%), having a bad after taste in  their mouth (48%), or
gagging (32%).? - Harris Interactive

While some medical disorders such as esophageal spasms and dyspahgia
(difficulty swallowing) can cause pills to become lodged in the
throat, more than likely, your problem was due to the Primrose Oil
capsule. If it was a large oil filled gel capsule, it?s possible the
gelatin began to dissolve too soon, in your throat, instead of your
stomach. This is prone to happen if you took the capsule with a warm
or hot drink.  Sometimes other kinds of pills can lodge in the throat,
and dissolve prematurely, irritating the throat, and leaving the
feeling that something is stuck. Drink something before you take the
pill, to be sure your throat is moist. If you feel a pill is stuck, a
few bites of bread, chewed and swallowed, followed by plenty of water
should help dislodge it. If you have this problem repeatedly , mention
it to your doctor, who can check for any physical problems that might
trigger pills to lodge in your throat.

I found these great ?Pill-Taking Tips?, oddly enough, on the Hair
Boutique web site. They are legitimate and useful tips!

1. Never rush your pill taking process.  Trying to swallow a pill as
you are running out the door to catch the carpool is a recipe for
disaster.  Plan to take your pills when you can be calm and
2.  Take any pills when you are sitting up or standing which will ease
a smooth and quick passage down your throat. Start by taking a deep
breath to instantly relax your body and throat.
3.  Take your pill or tablets with cool water, milk or juice.  Never
down a pill with your morning Starbucks.  A hot beverage may cause any
medications to dissolve before it ever reaches your stomach.
4.  Soften your throat in preparation for the pill by taking a few
sips of your milk, water or juice before you actually take the pill.
After taking a sip or took pop the pill in your mouth and take a big
gulp from your liquid.  Continue drinking until you have finished the
5.  Never try to cram a whole handful of pills down your throat.  Some
people can take more than one pill at a time.  You may not be one of
those people.  Pace your pills carefully so that you are relaxed and
comfortable at all times.
6.  Be cause not to toss a pill into your mouth like you would toss a
peanut.  It can have the same effect as a tossed peanut, which is
causing you to choke.  The best approach is to place the pill as far
back on your tongue as you can reach.
7.  If the pill doesn't seem to want to go down, stop forcing it. 
When in doubt spit the pill out.  Pills are cheap and replaceable. 
Your life isn't.
8.  Learn how to administer anti-choking treatments by using your
fists or the back of a chair.  If you know that you are prepared you
will remove your fear of the pills and be able to swallow easier.
9.  If a pill gets stuck use an anti-choking procedure.  You might
only think you are choking.  Try drinking liquids first to make sure
the pill is really stuck
10.	Experiment with different pill easing methods that will make it
easier for you to swallow.  Some people do best by taking their pills
while eating yogurt or other soft foods that help the throat stay
moist and receptive to pills.

Many pharmacists recommend that you avoid lying down for at least 30
minutes after taking any pills since this can slow the natural
progression of the pill through your esophagus and down into your

From The Medical College of Wisconsin:
Esophageal Injuries and Infections
Injuries to the esophagus, particularly from pills, are fairly common
among the elderly. Older people are more likely to be on a variety of
medications so the number of pills they take each day increases the
risk of ?swallowing wrong? or a pill ?getting stuck? and causing
injury to the esophagus. Large tablets, distorted anatomy, slow
movement of the pills through the esophagus, and pills taken while
lying down or with little liquid are some risk factors for such
injuries. Alendronate, a medication for osteoporosis, has been
associated with severe injury of the esophagus. When taking any pill,
drink at least eight ounces of liquid and remain upright for 30

From a weblog:
?This is random but, have you ever gotten medicine stuck in your
throat??  About two weeks ago, I was pretty sick so I decided to take
medicine.  I bought these gel capsules to take because I've never had
a problem swallowing them.  However, as I swallowed the two gel
capsules, they got stuck... I tried swallowing them but nothing
happened.  I tried gagging them up but it was a futile attempt.  I
tried drinking fluids but, they didn't dislodge at all... It was so
frustrating, uncomfortable and scary.  Imagine I couldn't breathe? 
Luckily, after about a couple of hours, it melted and finally went
down.  The funny thing was that I didn't learn from my first
experience so, in disbelief that it would get stuck again, I swallowed
another two capsules... and without fail, they were stuck... hehe...
talk about learning my lesson the long way.?

The Funny Side:

Blister Pack Stuck in Throat

Hope this has helped! If any part of my answer is unclear, or if I
have repeated information you already have, please request an Answer
Clarification, before rating. This will allow me to assist you
further, if possible.


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sadie1973-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the info!

Subject: Re: Pill stuck in throat?
From: probonopublico-ga on 02 Feb 2004 12:49 PST
Have you tried drinking LOTS of water?

Maybe hot water?
Subject: Re: Pill stuck in throat?
From: stressedmum-ga on 02 Feb 2004 22:16 PST
My mother always used to make us chew and swallow a small piece of
soft bread following medication.
(Similarly, we never ate fish without having bread accompanying the
meal, to 'push' any blockages through should they occur. It works so
well that I actually feel quite anxious if I'm eating out and there's
no bread with the fish!)

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