How to Take a Giant Pill Without Throwing Up

How to Take a Giant Pill Without Throwing Up
Photo: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock

It’s a bad sign if you refuse to take your multivitamin when someone else is in the kitchen. It doesn’t happen every time, but no one wants to risk the possibility of someone witnessing their vitamin-induced coffee regurgitation. And then the attempt to force the pill down again…it’s a terrible business. But oversized pill fright — be your foe a prenatal vitamin or your daily meds — need no longer be part of your routine, if you just take a cue from your dog.

If it works for a Labrador, it’s good enough for me

Dogs have sensitive noses, and they’ll turn away from most undisguised pills. The easy fix is to pack the stinky pill into something that smells tasty like peanut butter or a meatball — they’ll gobble it right down. And you know what? This method works pretty well for people, too.

I’m not suggesting you cover a Centrum in peanut butter — it’ll make a mess, and peanut butter is hard enough to eat at the best of times — but it is a good idea to tuck your pill into something delicious that won’t require a lot of manoeuvring to cover the supplement. Food you like will help mask the flavour and almost completely conceal the fact that you’re even swallowing a pill. Most multivitamins, along with some other supplements, are oddly-shaped behemoths even if they don’t have a god-awful taste, so if you are going to bother to take one (even though it probably isn’t doing anything for you), you may as well make the experience a more positive one.

Cover the pill in a tasty but soft food

The crucial step to improving the pill-taking experience is to cover it in a food item that is not only delicious, but the correct texture for easy swallowing. We already know liquids aren’t going to cut it. Nothing dusty or dry is going to go down without a fight, and the same goes for anything that you’ll be inclined to chew — the last thing you want to do is bite down on a pill, so choose something that you’d normally throw back with ease. I like to camouflage my own in a spoonful of fruit-flavored yogurt. The texture is thick but supple, and the nasty pill flavour is completely covered by the fruity dairy. In one easy gulp, I’m adulting.

Taking pills with food, literally, has the added benefit of helping prevent an upset stomach. Not feeling nauseous is a big bonus if you’ve been accustomed to a mini-upchuck with your daily meds. Other possible foods that will disguise pills beautifully: mashed avocado, hummus, cottage cheese, French-style soft scrambled eggs, or mashed potatoes. Basically, anything that you might eat if you didn’t have your dentures in.

A caveat: I don’t advising using this method to surprise anyone, particularly a pill-adverse child. Never hide a vitamin in food. This could lead to them chomping through the thing, releasing all the nasty flavour, or worse, present a choking hazard.

  

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