WLS patients tell me that some of the pills they are prescribed to take post-surgery are huge! I have never been prescribed some of the ones they mention (like Forceval) but can well understand their anxiety about taking something like looks so big.
Many teams will look to offer soluble variations of medications but not all and so many wonder if you can simply cut pill medications in half in order to make them easier to swallow. Can you? Is it advisable? What else could you try.
The odd time I have had to take a larger than usual pill has been infrequent but I did find taking it with a spoonful of yogurt a great help – somehow the smooth texture of the yogurt aids the safe delivery of the pill down to the stomach pouch. Others tell me that jelly/jello is their go to food for this. Somewhat surprisingly many don’t find that a drink helps at all.
So what does the pharmacist say?
Q: Can I ever cut my pills in half to make them easier to swallow?
A: A lot of tablets can be quite big, but always ask your doctor or pharmacist before cutting them up because it can change the dose. This can be an issue for some medication with a very precise dosage, and you could end up getting slightly too little, or too much, causing side-effects, warns Anshu Bhimbat of Lloyds Pharmacy in Buckinghamshire, UK.
Some tablets have a special coating to delay the drug release: cutting them can make the dose ineffective or irritate the stomach. You may be able to get the same or a similar drug in a liquid form – talk to your doctor, bariatric team or pharmacist.
If it is ok to cut your tablets, use a proper pill-cutter rather than a knife or breaking it with your hands.
Feature courtesy of the Daily Mail and in Association with Lloyds Pharmacy