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How to Swallow Big Pills: Dr. Stephen Ferrara Gives Advice to Refinery29

This story was originally published by Refinery29 on May 29, 2017: 


Remembering to take your medications every day is hard enough, but especially so when they’re massive horse pills.


You have to get a glass of water, brace yourself to gag, and it can become a whole thing.


Even though you eat solid foods and can deal with having other objects in your mouth, swallowing pills can feel really unnatural, and even make you gag, heave, or vomit.


“We are generally not designed to swallow solid objects, and therefore can experience difficulty,” says Stephen Ferrara, DNP, FNP-BC, associate dean of clinical affairs at Columbia Nursing.


Even though you do swallow some solid objects (like food), swallowing a whole pill is a different story.


Humans have a gag reflex, which helps to protect foreign objects from entering our airways, Dr. Ferrara says. “Some have more hyperactive gag reflexes than others, which can make swallowing pills a challenge,” he says.


Read the full article from Refinery29’s Cory Stieg.

Elizabeth Holliday


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