View Full Version : Help! Child can not swallow pill!!


kahumano
01-16-10, 04:30 PM
Hey all, I'm new here and in desperate need of some ideas. My 4.5 yr old was recently placed on the new medication Intuniv. Man, after a couple years of hell I thought I had some relief. Wrong..... the medicine worked great the few days I was able to get it in her whole. She has now figured out all the tricks of me hiding it in food. I started crushing it up in her food and she never knew. It just doesnt work that well crushed up. It goes through her system toO fast. She has now reverted back to pretty much the way she was before medication and I'm losing hope.She refuses to swallow the medication. The only medication that comes in chewable form is Ritalin and I really dont want to try that. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get the medication in her WHOLE?

wsmac
01-16-10, 04:44 PM
Have you asked your Pharmacist or Pediatrician?
They usually have heard all the tricks parents use.

leapofaith
01-16-10, 04:53 PM
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=819397#post819397

This method was suggested to me by a special needs teacher, worked like a charm!!

Start having him "practice" by swallowing mini-M & M 's , he gets to eat one for every one swallowed, once he has accomplished this, get some regular size M & M's. Repeat process, he gets to eat one for every one swallowed. When he is comfortable have him start swallowing his pill, he still gets 2-3 M & M's every time he is successful at taking his medication!!

Until I was told about this method, I was sprinkling those tiny beads into a spoon of yogurt or apple sauce. While this works fine, it is a pain to get all those tiny things onto one spoon of yogurt. I figured, some was better than none. It has no taste. You HAVE TO remind him every time, NOT to chew it, SUPPER IMPORTANT if the medication you are using is in a capsule and time released, like Adderal. If he is taking Concerta or any time released medication in pill form DO NOT break or crush it!! At that age I told him it was a vitamin that will help his brain grow strong. It may take a couple of sessions to get the M&M's down, 3-4 minutes a day is enough for a little guy with ADD. Good luck, I hope this helps. There are more methods suggested in the link below.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=819397#post819397 (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=819397#post819397)

RedHairedWitch
01-16-10, 07:21 PM
As I understand it, the child is refusing to take the pill, but capable of doing so.

Have you talked to the kiddo about why she doesn't want to take her meds? Is it just a power play or does she not like the way it makes her feel? She may not fully understand why she must take the meds as well.

You just might have to be big mean Mommy and take away TV time or some such thing if she refuses to take her pill.

Lunacie
01-16-10, 09:07 PM
As I understand it, the child is refusing to take the pill, but capable of doing so.

Have you talked to the kiddo about why she doesn't want to take her meds? Is it just a power play or does she not like the way it makes her feel? She may not fully understand why she must take the meds as well.

You just might have to be big mean Mommy and take away TV time or some such thing if she refuses to take her pill.


The child is only 4 and a half. If we consider Barkley's 30% Rule, that would make her just over 3 years old. I think there are a lot of 3 year olds who have trouble swallowing pills whole. My first thought would not be "a power play."

Gaining cooperation works much better with ADD kids (any kids actually) than being punished by a big mean mommy. What we've found works well, is to distract my Autistic granddaughter by letting her watch a quick video on the computer or telling her that she can play a computer game ~ as soon as she does whatever she needs to do. She's 8 years old and she cannot swallow a pill whole.

A lot of children have this very common problem. Read This (http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_swallmed_hhg.htm)


Kahumano, another tip for swallowing pills is to start with the mini M&M, place it far back on the tongue and have the child quickly drink something through a straw. Help the child focus on the liquid rather than the pill, and the pill should follow the liquid just fine.

But if the child still gags or the pill gets stuck, time to ask the doctor whether there's a liquid version available, or if it's okay to crush the pill or open the capsule and put the beads into something soft like pudding or applesauce that can be swallowed without chewing.

RedHairedWitch
01-17-10, 04:29 AM
Ah for some reason I read it as 14.5 years old, not 4.5 Darned dyslexia.

Lunacie
01-17-10, 10:31 AM
Ah for some reason I read it as 14.5 years old, not 4.5 Darned dyslexia.

Ah. I don't actually have dyslexia but I've read things wrong myself. Usually catch it, but not always.

Some adults also have a very strong gag reflex. My aunt actually needed nitrous oxide gas every time she went to the dentist in order to keep from gagging too much to allow the dentist to work. I don't know if she was able to swallow pills, but I know that I sometimes have trouble. Even a very small pill seems to get 'stuck' and I have to cough it back up and try again with a bigger swallow of water. I certainly don't do it as a power play. ;)

MuscleMama
01-17-10, 11:21 AM
There's also one adhd medication that comes as a patch - daytrana, I think?

Lunacie
01-17-10, 07:32 PM
There's also one adhd medication that comes as a patch - daytrana, I think?

Yes there is. I totally forgot that. Nice catch. It's something the OP could ask the doctor about.

whorton
01-17-10, 09:49 PM
You can check into Methylin it comes in both a liquid and chewable Table form it is not a sustained or extended release medication thou. If you get the liquid make sure to keep it out of reach at all times. My son was able to open his liquid allergy medicine at the grand parents and down about 2 oz.

CrazyLazyGal
01-18-10, 01:23 AM
I wasn't able to swallow pills until maybe first or second grade.

There are supposed to be special cups that help them with swallowing pills, but I don't know how many people they work for.

kahumano
01-19-10, 03:15 PM
Thank you for all the responses!! We're making progress! Unfortunately, the m&m trick didn't work but she's getting better at it. Her preschool teacher was able to get her to swallow it with no problem! I on the other hand can only get her to chew it up but that's still better than it was before. Fingers crossed she keeps on!!

PickMeUpRoadie
01-19-10, 10:38 PM
A spoonful of pudding, yogurt, or ice cream works in the psych ward for patients who have trouble with pills; it should work with kids.

kahumano
01-20-10, 03:59 PM
Lets just say she's burned out on pudding. haha That was my first "trick"

Shawver83
01-25-10, 10:36 AM
My five year old was prescribed Intuniv as well, and we're going to have to get the doctor to change it to something else that comes in another form other than tablet, as he absolutely will not take it. We've tried all the tricks, including the mini M&M's. At first he tried the M&M thing, unsuccessfully. Now for some reason he has this almost phobic fear that he's going to choke to death, and won't even put the M&M or anything else in his mouth and try. He hasn't taken a single pill, we still haven't gotten past the practice stage. I did think about crushing it up, I actually have a little mortar and pestle where I could grind it up really well and put it in his morning drink, but I've heard people say it doesn't work well that way. We're really disapointed that he won't take the Intuniv, the doc says plan B is Strattera, since I guess it comes in some kind of chewable or crushable form. I'm still debating though, whether it would be worth it to go ahead and give him the crushed Intuniv and see if it gives us any kind of decent result.

JenE
01-25-10, 12:01 PM
shawver, although I've had people tell me you can open up the strattera capsule, all the literature says not too because it can irritate the stomach, mouth and throat.

What we did was practice with Tic Tacs. My son will not swallow pills with water but he will take a bite of something soft (he uses Little Debbie Fudge Rounds or Oatmeal Cakes) and just before swallowing, he mixes the pill in with the soft food and swallows it right down. He takes Strattera (capsule), Tenex and Lexapro (both tablets) this way with no issues.

Worth a try.

MuscleMama
01-25-10, 01:13 PM
My five year old was prescribed Intuniv as well, and we're going to have to get the doctor to change it to something else that comes in another form other than tablet, as he absolutely will not take it. We've tried all the tricks, including the mini M&M's. At first he tried the M&M thing, unsuccessfully. Now for some reason he has this almost phobic fear that he's going to choke to death, and won't even put the M&M or anything else in his mouth and try. He hasn't taken a single pill, we still haven't gotten past the practice stage. I did think about crushing it up, I actually have a little mortar and pestle where I could grind it up really well and put it in his morning drink, but I've heard people say it doesn't work well that way. We're really disapointed that he won't take the Intuniv, the doc says plan B is Strattera, since I guess it comes in some kind of chewable or crushable form. I'm still debating though, whether it would be worth it to go ahead and give him the crushed Intuniv and see if it gives us any kind of decent result.

Have you talked to the pharmacist? They should be able to tell you if it can be crushed and maybe even have some other ideas for you.

MGDAD
01-25-10, 03:26 PM
The intuniv web site says not to crush the tablets. It does not say why not, but it probably destroys the time release mechanism of the pill. If you want to crush a pill just get the standard Guanfacine pills. Although you would probably have to give another dose in the afternoon.

Shawver83
01-25-10, 07:54 PM
Ugh, I didn't realize Strattera couldn't be crushed either. I thought the doctor said it could, maybe I'm mistaken. I'm really at a loss. He absolutely refuses to even practice with M&M's, Tic Tacs, or anything at this point. I didn't know that the medicine in Intuniv came in a regular non-time release capsule. If it does, that could be the answer. I could crush that, and even if I had to give it to him twice a day it would work better than trying to get him to swallow a pill.

cmbryant
02-10-10, 07:42 PM
My 6 year old very easily takes his medication--I put it into a spoonful of yogurt or applesauce. He knows it is there; I'm not being sneaky or anything. After a while, we discovered he could take the pill with a glass of water. Yeah!

Shawver83
02-10-10, 08:20 PM
Well, things worked out in the end. My son was able to finally swallow the pill after a few days of trying. Now he takes it like a champ. Not sure how it's gonna go if his dosage is increased and the pill gets a little larger, but we'll worry about that when we get there!

JenE
02-11-10, 10:46 AM
Glad he can take them now!! I don't think the pills get any larger so he should be fine.

solsken
02-19-10, 11:41 AM
Hey all, I'm new here and in desperate need of some ideas. My 4.5 yr old was recently placed on the new medication Intuniv. Man, after a couple years of hell I thought I had some relief. Wrong..... the medicine worked great the few days I was able to get it in her whole. She has now figured out all the tricks of me hiding it in food. I started crushing it up in her food and she never knew. It just doesnt work that well crushed up. It goes through her system toO fast. She has now reverted back to pretty much the way she was before medication and I'm losing hope.She refuses to swallow the medication. The only medication that comes in chewable form is Ritalin and I really dont want to try that. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get the medication in her WHOLE?

We use a little bit of apricot jelly. Works like a charm!