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HIV Health and Treatment Issues >> Treatment & Side Effects

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taurusthecat
Regular

Reged: 11/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Finding some pills hard to swallow?
      #235374 - 01/18/08 02:48 AM

I recently started ARV therapy and one of the pills I take (2 per day) are Nevirapine (Viramune). Now I'm well-acquainted with swallowing pills, I take a whole handful each day in the form of supplements and don't usually have an issue with gagging etc, but with the Nevirapine I found that these pills don't have the usual coating on them, which means that the very instant they come into contact with my saliva they turn extremely sticky and gluey and cling to my mouth, refusing to budge. If they're on my tongue they stick to that, or if they make it to my throat, they have a very strong tendency to stick there, the surface of them becoming quite claggy and gummy immediately upon contact with moisture. Most pills have some sort of coating on them which enables them to glide down the throat, but not in the case of these ones. The result of this is that it either sticks on the back of my tongue nearly making me gag and choke, or I spit it out involuntarily and I end up with a soggy dissolving pill on my hand which I have no choice but to re-swallow. We all know how valuable these pills are and that we can't afford to waste even one of them or dilute-down the dosage which would be the effect if I had more of the dissolved pill on my hand than down my throat!

I'm supposing that some others have this issue too, so I'm just posting to fill you in on my solution. I found that if I just use normal water to wash them down my success rate is quite low, unless I 'toss' them down my throat hopefully missing my tongue altogether. But usually with water they stick straight away and I've given up on that. I found that there's two alternatives which work well, and using those I find that these sticky pills go down without too much hassle. One is to wash them down with something thick, either a glass of milk, or a protein shake which I have once a day as well. In either of those cases the thickness of the fluid sort of suspends the pill and stops it from sticking directly to my tongue long enough for it to pass down my throat. The other thing I found which works is washing them down with something fizzy. Plain soda water is what I use, I don't know why it does, but it does. Maybe the bubbles also suspend the pill for a brief time. Don't know.

But anyway, even though it seems like an obvious sort of thing to suggest, I thought I'd share it anyway as if I'm suffering this problem with these pills (I've never seen such sticky, gluey pills before) I would think that others might be also.

Taurus

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I'm like fake fruit...... I don't bruise that easy.

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garret99
New User

Reged: 01/31/08
Posts: 15
Re: Finding some pills hard to swallow? new
      #236107 - 02/01/08 02:43 AM

for myself, i take a huge breath in and then throw the pills in and real quickly take a huge drink of milk or fibre and its all down in less then a second.....without the holding of breath i gag and the pills stick and get soft and glommy

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taurusthecat
Regular

Reged: 11/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Finding some pills hard to swallow? new
      #236236 - 02/04/08 04:01 PM

I'd be careful about using a glass of fibre to wash your medication down. I read on these forums a little while ago that someone had discovered their medication encapsulated in a blob of fibre gel when they went to the toilet, completely un-dissolved and un-absorbed. Interested, I read my bottle of Metamucil and did note that it tells you the following; "If you are taking a prescription medication by mouth, take this product at least 2 hours before or after the prescribed medicine to minimize any effect on drug absorption."
It makes sense I suppose, that the gluey fibre gel could form a barrier between your medication and the lining of your gut, thereby stopping it from effectively being absorbed.
I do know that the idea of having my meds pass through my body and out the other end within a blob of fibre gel is not one I like to think of happening, and the possibility of having it even only partially absorbed because of some sort of gluey barrier is also not too good. It's vital we don't miss doses and also keep the blood levels of the drugs up to avoid developing drug-resistant viruses, so neither of those things are really a good idea to risk under any circumstances. So just to be on the safe side, I now take the advice on the Metamucil label. Just thought I'd put this up to let you know there seems to be a risk in using fibre to wash our medication down. I think it might be safer to stick to something like milk or shakes, or even OJ which has the pulp still in it.

Taurus

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I'm like fake fruit...... I don't bruise that easy.

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Monchhichi
Regular

Reged: 02/07/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Florida
Re: Finding some pills hard to swallow? new
      #236259 - 02/05/08 07:41 AM

Another thing that will help is to buy empty gel caps and put your meds in them. You can purchase these at GNC. Not sure where else. Has been awhile since I had to purchase them.

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Never forget: Life is too precious to take for granted.


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