Problems swallowing tablets/capsules- psychological or medical? (part 1)

Swallowing tablets or capsules is a widely found issue but the answer to the question isn’t very clear to all. So, is this just a psychological problem OR, can it actually be something more than that?

In the following few articles, I will be discussing this issue and finally come to a conclusion.

So let’s begin!

Why do some people have a problem when it comes to swallowing a capsule/ caplet (hybrid of a tablet and capsule) or tablet?

Well here are a few reasons:

1. Psychological barrier for the majority
2. Fear of choking
3. Dysphagia– medical term for swallowing difficulties

For some people, this is indeed a psychological problem. Perhaps the fact that people hear from others that they have had problems or hear a few traumatising cases and end up thinking what if they themselves suffer from it as well?
The fear of choking or an actual traumatic experience can also lead to the development of the psychological barrier as one would probably fear having a repeat of the awful experience. The fear of choking on the tablet or it going down the wrong tube may lead to one becoming tense when swallowing the medication.

So, what are some of the solutions?

  1. A simple solution to that problem is to stop making a big fuss about it and relax. By relaxing our throat muscles we can ease swallowing. Repeatedly tell yourself, ‘You can do this, you can swallow the pill’
  2. Additionally, practise makes perfect so, why not try swallowing some jellies cut into little pieces.
  3. Also, another trick to ingest the pill and not taste it; put the pill in some yogurt which can mask any unpleasant taste.

To be continued…


(1). Weller, C. (2013). Why Is Swallowing Pills So Hard For Some People?. [online] Medical Daily. Available at: [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].

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