Swallowing Pills

Chat with Pharmacy Staff


Can compounding help with trouble swallowing pills? Can any medication be made into a liquid or patch formula?


Difficulty swallowing pills is a common problem. Be sure to discuss your problem with your doctor when he or she is prescribing a medication for you. While the medication may not be available in a chewable form, it may come in an alternate form such as liquid, powder, sublingual (placed under the tongue to dissolve), orally dissolving (when placed on the tongue), suppository (inserted in the rectum, or for females, in the vagina), nasal spray, injectable liquid, cream or ointment, or patch. These options can allow for you to avoid swallowing pills altogether. Your physician also may be able to treat the cause of the swallowing difficulty.

A word of caution: Do not crush pills or empty capsules to make them easier to swallow without first checking with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on the medication, this may alter the effect of the drug and/or may cause serious, possibly fatal, side effects. Unless your doctor or pharmacist has OK'd doing so, avoid crushing your medications to make swallowing easier.

Find a Walgreens location near you offering medication compounding services to tailor your prescriptions to your needs.

Find out more about swallowing difficulty.

Back to Pharmacist FAQs

If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.

Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a Walgreens.com pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.