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meds too big for me to swallow

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by lucylocket61, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I need some advice. I have now been prescribed metformin SR. The tablets are too huge for me to swallow, and I cant cut them up. Any ideas on what I can do about this please? They are chalky, even though they are coated for the sustained release.

    I am in the UK
     
  2. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Sorry LL I don't know what they look like so I'd like to ask why you cannot cut them. Are they capsules with a powder inside?
     
  3. bobrobert

    bobrobert Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If they are slow release then cutting them wouldn't advisable?
     
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  4. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I take two at a time with lots of water and no problems. It did take a while to pluck up courage though. In the evening I have to take 8 tablets all that size, it was just taking too long.
     
  5. UsmanMo96

    UsmanMo96 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I take the same tablets, I usually put them in my mouth and drink some water but I hold water in for 3 sec and then swallow. It works for me.
     
  6. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi @lucylocket61 - I've never taken Metformin, but if the tablets are about the same size as Aciclovir I had when I had shingles a few months ago, you have my sympathy. Those were ginagerous, and 5 times a day - not impressed!

    To be honest, on times when I was sure, for whatever reason, they weren't going to go down well, I took a spoonful of yoghurt (or cream, if you prefer) and took them that way. That seemed to make them slippery enough.

    If all fails, Lucy, there is a liquid option, although the medics try to avoid prescribing that as it is quite a bi more costly than he more usual tablets. https://bnf.nice.org.uk/medicinal-forms/metformin-hydrochloride.html#PHP76123

    I hope that helps.

    How are you doing this morning?
     
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  7. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Many decades ago I had to take some huge, horrible, vile tasting anti-malaria tablets. I worked out that I could take them by, first, half eating a caramel, spitting it out and wrapping the tablet in it, then taking the tablet. While caramels aren't the best suggestion round here these days, could you coat them in something suitable. Bit of experimentation, a good smear of butter, perhaps?
    Sally
     
  8. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any experience of Metformin but I believe it is available in various doses. Maybe you could take 2 tablets with half the dose?
     
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  9. ~Noodles~

    ~Noodles~ Type 2 · Active Member

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    This. If not being able to swallow larger sized tabs is a somewhat more recent occurence I'd also highly recommend having a doc take a look at your esophagus.
     
  10. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Sometimes it is a bit of a psychological block. Especially if there is no problem swallowing food. You don’t like the idea of meds, so your unconscious mind is telling you not to swallow them. I have seen the same with my mum, and have experienced it myself. Need to relax, make sure I am well hydrated, then swallow with some acceptable food. For mum it was jelly and custard. I used yogurt, cream, butter, or sugar free jelly.
     
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  11. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lucylocket, I think metformin can be administered in liquid form these days? Would it be worth asking for that. My Mum had a real problem trying to swallow a tablet that was the size of an old penny(!), when we told them she nearly choked on it they were happy to change to liquid. x
     
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  12. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Absolutely right not to cut them up.
    Slow release tablets usually have coatings on them which helps with the slow release part. cutting them open => fast release.

    When I get daunted by tablets, I try and remember that tablets are smaller than a mouthful of food - and those go down the hatch ok! ;)

    The last time I had enormous horse pills (antibiotics) I ended up taking them with food. Literally in a mouthful of chewed food. Worked like a charm.
     
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  13. dogslife

    dogslife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi lucylocket61. I've been taking the same tablets for ages. Then a while ago the chemist gave me a different brand and they were HUGE! ( More like suppositories!) As they were slow release you are advised to swallow them whole. I went back to the pharmacy and they put a note on their computer saying that in future always give me the smaller version. May be worth you trying this? :)
     
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  14. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    When I took Metformin (both sorts), I used to put the tablet lengthwise towards the back of my tongue and down them with a big swallow of water.

    You do not cut tablets in half if they do not have a crimp in them, especially slow release ones.
     
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  15. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Have you tried taking them with a spoonful of yoghurt or something of about that consistence? I found that's a lot easier than with water.
     
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  16. Rose22

    Rose22 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Agree, yoghurt can be an easier way. Also agree it’s often more the fear than the size actually being too big to swallow safely. I took sr met and I found having a big glass water useful, had to sometimes keep gulping water. But I wouldn’t cut them as the coating is the slow release form I believe.
    I now take tiny pills and its just as bad, as can’t tell if swallowed or stuck somewhere by a tooth or gum hehe. So at least you know they’ve gone!
    Might just need some time, patience, and calmness to get used to them, best of luck.
     
  17. Rose22

    Rose22 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Maybe ask the pharmacist if there’s another sr brand? Whether it’s smaller?
    Don’t think would come in liquid form as that would be fast release I’m guessing!
     
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  18. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am going to try that tomorrow.
     
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  19. Rose22

    Rose22 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Good luck definitely worth a try! As I took SR met for a while, then opened my box at home after picking up from pharmacy and was a different brand. Thought nothing of it, but did make a difference so went back and pharmacist said to always have exact same brand need to state that on the prescription. I assumed if taking something and it’s working would always get the same brand of med...apparently not. Now I open my prescription packets in the pharmacy to check it’s all right! Hehe!
     
  20. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. I've been taking SR for 15 years or so with no problems but they are big. The brands do vary a bit so check with the pharmacy.
     
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