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What to Do when You Get a Pill Stuck in the Throat

What to Do when You Get a Pill Stuck in the Throat

Pill stuck in throat? Don't panic. This article will provide you with some tips that will help you in combating the situation.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Nowadays, most of us have the habit of popping pills for anything and everything. Whether it be a minor headache or cold, we use pills very frequently. Besides that, those with medical problems have to take prescription medicines. So, use of pills is very common. Sometimes, it may happen that one of these pills get stuck in the throat. You may feel that the pill is stuck to some corner of your throat and is causing a choking sensation with a small degree of nausea. You may also develop some amount of throat pain when swallowing. What to do, if you face such a situation?
Pill Stuck in Throat - What to Do
It is possible that a pill may stuck in your throat and you feel miserable for sometime. Though, it may not be a life-threatening condition always, it is better to act fast and get it down at the earliest. According to health experts, contact of the pill with esophageal lining for a longer time, is not advisable, as some medicines may cause irritation and inflammation of this lining. For example, anti-inflammatory medicines, certain antibiotics and some drugs used for treating osteoporosis, are found to cause such irritation. Even vitamin C, iron, potassium and aspirin are said to cause such effects. This may also lead to esophageal ulcers, perforation and even narrowing of this tube-like structure.
So, let us take a look at what to do in case of pill stuck in throat.
  • As most of us know, you have to rush and drink lots of water or any other liquid, so that the pill is swallowed down. You may use warm liquids that may be effective in dissolving the pill, that will slide down faster.
  • While gulping down water, you may try to make some neck movements that may help in dislodging the pill stuck in throat. Another method is to swallow the saliva along with movements of the throat muscles. This will also drown the pill to downwards.
  • If you think that the pill is still there, swallow some food like rice or bread. You may also use banana slices or even peanut butter for this purpose. Swallowing yogurt or apple sauce may also work wonders, for getting down the pill.
The above said are some of the remedies that are commonly used for dislodging pill stuck in throat. In some cases, it may happen that the pill may not even budge with such remedies. So you have to seek immediate medical attention.
Pill Stuck in Throat - How to Avoid
There are some preventive measures that can be employed to avoid such happenings. It is always advisable to drink a small amount of water, before you take pills. This is beneficial for lubricating the throat beforehand. You must take pills with enough water or other fluids. It is said that at least 250 ml of water must be gulped down along with the pill. Sit straight and relaxed while taking pills. It will be better, if you can remain in that up straight position for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If the pills are large enough for you, make them half (if possible) before swallowing. If the drug is available in chewable form, get them after consulting your doctor. If your doctor allows, you may open up the capsules and mix the drug with applesauce or foods for consumption.
As we all know, "Precaution is better than cure". So take enough precautions to avoid conditions like pills stuck in throat. If such thing happens, try the remedies mentioned above. In case the feeling of pill stuck in throat still remains, seek immediate medical attention.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.