Have you experienced the feeling of horror and weirdness whenever a pill gets stuck on your throat? Horrible right? It feels like choking but not. At times, you dread vomiting the pills because it will be a waste to spit it out and it is quite disgusting to put in there again. Getting a pill stuck in your throat is not an uncommon thing to happen. It is also something not to get worried about. In no time, the pill will eventually go down as our digestive tract muscles are very strong. However, what if the supposedly vanished pill gets stuck in there, longer than you expected to? Not to worry, this article has the top three tips and ways on how to unstuck that stubborn pill in your throat.
The cricopharyngeus is a part of your throat where reported “stuck pills” cases often happen. It is a ring-like muscle located just at the top of your esophagus, close to your throat. Even with the absence of weird bodily positions (why would anyone do this?) while drinking your medicine, pills could still get stuck on weird circumstances in women, men, young and old people.
There is a fold called epiglottis which covers the path of the trachea. This is the barrier in the separation of two tracts, the esophagus and trachea. The trachea is for oxygen while esophagus is the passage for food. The epiglottis makes it possible for food to travel in your esophagus safely. Pills, on the other hand, are considerably smaller than food. Ironically, they are harder to go than the solid food. When you take in a pill, and the operation of it going down is not smooth, this is where pills get stuck in the cricopharyngeus.
Top Three Ways To Prevent Stuck Pills and Keep Them Sliding
1. Drink Plenty of Water
A dry throat and not drinking water right after you take in the pill is one of the most common reasons why pills get stuck in your throat. Even when it is stuck already, drinking lots of water help the pill to get past the cricopharyngeus and down to your stomach. To prevent the pill from getting stuck on your cricopharyngeus, drink water first to wet the surface area of the esophagus. Have another glass of water standby on your side. After wetting your esophagus from water, swallow the pill like you always do and drink a glass full of water. Drink another full glass again if necessary. Another good fluid to wet and lubricate your esophagus is by drinking applesauce. It lubricates the area of your esophagus lining and the lining of your stomach. This will help your muscles to move. When you do this, it is better to drink it on an empty stomach. This is not prescribed though for pills that need food on the stomach for easy digestion.
2. Break the Medicine
Most pills can be pulverized or can be broken into two or more pieces. Just make sure that you consult your doctor or pharmacist before doing it. Some pills are not supposed to be broken up due to medical reasons, to be sure, and if you are someone prone to having a pill get stuck on your cricopharyngeus, ask your doctor about this first. If you have a go signal, you can try to break the pill as many pieces as you want by a spoon or by a knife. You could also purchase an easy pill breaker in drugstores.
3. Tilt your Head Forward
If a pill is already stuck in your cricopharyngeus, do something. Do not just stand there. Most importantly, do not leave it there thinking that it will dissolve on its own. A pill that dissolves in the cricopharyngeus might have possible complications. As much as possible, try to find ways to let the pills slide down to your stomach.
Try to tip the edge of your chin in your chest. This will help the process of unsticking your pill.
Now if all else fails, please admit yourself in the hospital (worst-case scenario) or contact your doctor immediately. They will be able to give you a direct order on how to unstuck your pill. Also, to prevent this from happening, they might change your medication or adjust some dosages because of your tendency to get a pill stuck in your throat.
Other Ways to Let Your Pill Keep Sliding Down your Throat
As mentioned before, wetting throat is the best way to prevent the pill from getting stuck. Drink lots and lots of water after taking in a pill, and there will be no way, in which the pill will get stuck again in your throat. You can also try to eat food particularly, a banana when you have a pill stuck on your throat. Food intake should only be done if the medicine is not intended for an empty stomach or your body is not undergoing liquid a diet.
It is quite rare for a pill to get stuck in your throat. It is not that rare though because it might happen to you to at some point especially if your medication (pill) is quite large. The best way to unstuck your pill is to prevent it from getting stuck in the first place. There are many things that you can do to avoid it; some of these things can be found in your home like water. Taking in a pill is a serious job and fooling around it like doing some acrobatics while taking it in is foolish and at the same time dangerous.
In addition to that, if you have frequent cases of pills getting stuck in your throat, it is better to have it checked by a doctor. You might have an underlying medical condition down there that is why it keeps on happening. There might be a misalignment of cartilage or weak muscle of your esophagus that needs medical attention or even worse cases like the inability of the brain to send messages to the muscles for involuntary muscle movement.