Gag Reflex When Taking Medicine

Updated on June 27, 2013
C.I. asks from Cape Coral, FL
15 answers

My grandson (7) has to take a very tiny pill each day. He has a very bad gag reflex. He has tried to swallow it, but can't. It is a time released caplet, therefore it can not be crushed or desolved. We feel bad for him, but he has to take it. If anyone knows of a trick to this, please pass it along. This perscription is not made in a liquid or a gummy. We have tried everything. I even tried bribing him. he said that he just couldn't do it & starting crying & saying that he was sorry. My daughter has called the Dr., but so far, no solution.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

We give meds in applesauce. They don't chew it normally so it should go down with a simple swallow.

If it's a capsule have him try putting water in his mouth then the pill the lean forward. The air in the capsule will make it float to the top of the water, in the back of his mouth if he's leaning his head forward. Then swallow while leaning forward. I also eat a cracker or piece of bread after taking a capsule so it won't float back up my esophagus and dissolve there.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughters pediatrician told me to have my daughters practice swallowing "pills" by actually swallowing tic tacs.
Your grandson will get it. Stay positive!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I second the applesauce. Just make sure it is the thick one. I had the same issue as a kid and could not swallow pills for the life of me until my late 20's.

I always had to have it in applesauce and it worked every time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Oh! Poor kid! I have that issue too!!

I have found that milk or orange juice work best for me. They are thicker than water. Sometimes a straw helps, too. My hubby laughs at me because sometime I even make a "chewing" motion like I am just chewing food and getting ready to swallow.

Maybe yogurt if that doesn't help? It is thick, but has fruit pieces in it.

I know that most of it is psychological for me. I mean, I swallow food that is not completely liquid, right? But even knowing that I still gag!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I used to have to take came in a horrible liquid and in huge "horse" pill. I finally had to tell them to give me the horse pill because the liquid gagged me worse than the pill (it was thick and nasty).

Can you give it with pudding or applesauce so it goes does easier?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Have him practice with tic tacs.
With candy they usually have no trouble and if they can do it with candy then they can do it with medicine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Put it in some apple sauce or a blob of grape jelly

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Put it in a spoonful of applesauce. Works like a charm.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My oldest has the most success with cold soda.



answers from Miami on

Is it the kind of pill you can open and drop the powder into something? I have a terrible gag reflex (ask my dentist, x-rays can take up to an hour due to this and I HAVE vomited before from the gagging). If so, you could drop the contents into juice or apple sauce. A smoothie could be another way of getting the pill to go down easier, since it has a thicker texture than water and other drinks. Good luck, I know it's a real pain :( I find gelcaps a bit easier to swallow than the rough pills since they're sticky and smooth rather than rough-edged, but I suppose those could be crushed instead.



answers from Orlando on

Have you tried putting the pill in a small spoonful of applesauce, pudding, or something else sticky that would help him swallow it? Can he swallow such a spoonful of sticky pudding? Then either wash down that spoonful with water or milk or give him another spoonful with no medicine in it, to make sure the pill goes down.

I had to give my then 4 month-old medicine that only came in capsule form--luckily, we could open the capsule and sprinkle the hard little dots inside it (think those sugar sprinkles from the baking aisle) on some baby applesauce or something like that. We called it his "rocky" applesauce, and he learned very quickly that if he swallowed that spoonful quickly, he got another that wasn't rocky! Good luck.



answers from Portland on

Have him chew up something yummy ( favorite crackers) and then put the tiny pill in his mouth when the food is soft. Swallow and chase with water. I used to have a terrible time with pills, even as an older teen. This is what I found would work. He does need enough for a good swallow, so maybe two bites of something without swallowing the first, and it needs to have some texture to 'disguise' the pill in his throat, so be aware that something very smooth like yogurt may not work. The texture of the food will also help it go down instead of becoming separated from the food and staying stuck in the throat.



answers from Kansas City on

I've heard to sip water first, the with the pill, then after the pill.
If you wet the mouth & throat first, it will be easier.
Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

It all depends on how he's swallowing it. My husband and I both have different ways of doing it. He will put liquide in his mouth and then put it in while the liquid is in there. I will put the pill as far as I can on my touge and take a big drink of and it will go down.


answers from Austin on

The moms have given you great advice. We used to have our daughter practice with "tic tacs" at a time when she was not actually on medication.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions