How to Swallow a Pill Without Tasting It

Two Methods:Choosing Medicine Forms to Avoid Extra FlavorsMaking Your Own Capsules

One of the the first things children are exposed to during illness or after an injury is often that icky medicine taste. While learning and making sense of our world, we begin to associate this unpleasant taste with the negative events, and the association can make our experience all the worse, particularly if our parents force any kind of medicine upon us. Even as an adult, some medication may make you gag as you try to swallow it, or may numb your mouth. Rather than suffer through that, read along and find interesting methods to make it easy on you and your taste buds.

Method 1
Choosing Medicine Forms to Avoid Extra Flavors

  1. 1
    Avoid buying medications with extra sugars and flavors. Contrary to what you expect, the added sweeteners may actually worsen your experience or make the medication less effective, as well as more expensive. Without extra flavors, the medicines are sometime more effective smaller pill sizes/doses.
    • Look at all drug facts and nutritional facts, reading the directions and warnings before buying. Check for active and inactive ingredients added and ask the pharmacist to help you find alternative forms equivalent to your prescribed medication.
  2. 2
    Explain to the pharmacist your difficulty swallowing. Ask if there is any other forms of the same strength or equivalent concentrations at a smaller size pill.
    • There are usually different options of the same medicine from brand and generic labs. Some pharmaceutical companies make and distribute different packaging for distinct pharmacy stores, too.
    • Don't be surprised or confused if you find a smaller pill claiming to be twice the strength than the larger, because it contains only the required active ingredients, binders and fillers, without the extra sugar coating or polymer film junk that pharmacies charge you extra for.

Method 2
Making Your Own Capsules

  1. 1
    Find out if your medicine is offered in a form where it can be packed into your own capsules. This can help reduce how much you have to taste the medicine, but it also requires some work on your part. Check with your pharmacist before trying this approach.
  2. 2
    Check with your pharmacist or physician if the pill is meant to be swallowed whole for controlled release or can be broken up to quickly dissolve and disperse.
    • This is important to know because it could cause stomach irritation or more serious problems if a pill meant to slowly dissolve and release active ingredients is instead released all at once.
  3. 3
    Purchase natural organic cellulose capsules from a natural food stores or pharmacy nutritional supplement stores. There are a variety of sizes in packs of 25, 50, or 100 capsule caps or caplets that you can fill up yourself.
    • Make sure that they are natural cellulose or gelatin film coats that will easily disintegrate once you swallow. There are many other like sucrose, corn starch, synthetic cellulose or lactose, to name a few.
  4. 4
    Pack your capsules making sure that they contain and match only one dose.
    • Only pack one dose at the time each and every time as prescribed.
    • Sometimes one pill will contain more than the capsule can hold, and it can be confusing to have capsules containing different amounts.
    • Some pills may have some coating to protect and increase shelf time.


  • Before trying with your current medication refill make sure you check in with pharmacist or a physician to be safe and change / discard if they tell you it is not safe.
  • Children are not advised to do this; there may be chewable versions of the medicine available. Those over the age of 8 may try this with adult supervision.

Article Info

Categories: Taking Pills and Medicine