Monday, November 17, 2014

Be a better pill popper

For some people, swallowing a pill is like running downstairs two at a time. If you think of it, you will fall. Or in the case of pills, choke.

But some German scientists are thinking about it. In a story in the LA Times by Karen Kaplan, Univ o f Heidelberg researchers came up with two techniques to make pull swallowing easier.

The first is the "pop-bottle method." And the second is the "lean forward" technique.

One hundred fifty one volunteers tried these (half reported trouble taking pills). They tried all shapes and sizes of pills.

Tablets were the worst. For this, the scientists suggested the pop bottle method. Put the pill in your mouth, close your lips around a flexible water bottle opening and suck. About two-thirds noted improvement. The ones without previous difficulty could swallow even larger pills.

For capsules, the docs suggested the lean forward method. Put the pill in, put the water in, then lean your head forward from the neck and swallow.

It seemed like tilting the head back would work better--my mother's method, by the way--but leaning forward won.

This morning on National Public Radio, some pill averse people tried these--and I did hear some choking noises.

My mother tilted back and stamped her feet three times like a horse counting. We used to laugh about it.

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