What happens if you chew a pill that is supposed to be swallowed?

Have you ever wondered why you shouldn’t be chewing your tablets?

You shouldn’t chew, crush or break tablets or pills, or open powder out of capsules unless other wise instructed to do so by a health care professional.

– This is because most drugs are designed to release medicine slowly into your body over a period of time and crushing them could lead to an overdose as a result of dose dumping – which is when the body absorbs a large amount of a drug at once.

What happens if you chew a pill that is supposed to be swallowed?
Chewable Vitamin C: What happens if you chew a pill that is supposed to be swallowed?

– Your stomach acid could stop them from working without their special coating. For example, Enteric coating – This coating is designed for the drug to broken down in the intestines to be effective, and chewing or crushing them prevents that.

– They could be harmful to the lining of your stomach without their special coating.

– They may taste very unpleasant without their coating.

Flagyl and antimalarial tablets says hi 😏

– You could get side effects from inhaling powder from crushed medicines.

If you have problems swallowing drugs like I did when I was younger, inform your doctor prescribing the medicine, there may be an alternative medicine available in liquid dosage form, or chewable tablets e.g multivitamins, and certain antacids, or he/she might inform your pharmacist to compound a dosage form suitable for you.

In summary, please don’t chew tablets that are not indicated as “Chewable tablets.”

Some tablets are formulated such that it’s contents are released over time into your blood stream.

Chewing it destroys the integrity of the tablet which results in dose dumping. Dose dumping can result in adverse effects ranging from stomach upset to toxicity. Only tablets that are clearly labelled to be chewable should be chewed. Follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist.

Olivia (Pharmacist)


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