Chewable vs. Swallowing Pills?

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If I swallow a pill that is supposed to be chewed first (I can't help it, they're gross) or chew a pill that's supposed to be swallowed, will it affect the medicine's ...show more
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Chewables are generally flavored, to entice the patient to be compliant with their medication regimen, which are usually children. Many children do not like taking meds, and if the meds look and taste more like candy than meds, then logic predicts the child will take their meds without too much fuss. There are some antacids that are chewable. Chewing helps dissolve these meds.
As for those meds that should be swallowed, chewing these will usually result in a bitter-tasting, non-pleasant experience that may cause you to vomit, if not gag. Chewing prior to swallowing may make the drug less effective due to enzymes found in saliva. Yet, it is believed that this action produces negligible change of the medication, and it is still fairly effective. Take caution, however, some drugs may stain teeth or weaken the enamel. As a rule of thumb, read the instructions before taking any meds, and FOLLOW exactly.
mlmar makes a good point. Extended release, or delayed action pills need to be swallowed because they are specially manufactured to slowly dissolve in the stomach or intestines, and chewing it will degrade the medication quicker as it destroys the coating and/or "special" mini-compartments designed to withhold from releasing the full dose of the pill all-at-once.

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  • Caren H answered 6 years ago
    I say yes. Some pills are meant to begin working in your GI tract vs. in your stomach. They are coated to let the pill survive your harsh stomach acid. I think it might affect the efficacy of the pill as well. Always follow the directions. Many pills taste gross! Ask if it is available in liquid and pony up the $3 to get a nice flavor you can stomach.
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  • Gina answered 6 years ago
    most likely it will.
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  • Dashing Geek answered 6 years ago
    It depends. Some pills have special coatings that allow them to work only if the coating is intact. Anything that is delayed release or extended release needs to be swallowed whole.

    The pharma industry makes chewable tablets as a way for kids to take pills and to get more shelf space in the stores.

    You should ask your pharmacist if the particular pill you are taking can be crushed. OK? Good luck.
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  • chuppkaychuppkay answered 6 years ago
    The medication should be taken as prescribed as that is the best way to handle the problem, you are right they don't taste good
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  • Drahfruida answered 6 years ago
    I've heared of people who feel the same way, depending on what kind of pill you have if its a little plastic container with powder inside you can carefully open it and snort it up your nose with a straw! I actually wouldn't recommend it myself, but it works for them not to tast it!
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