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At what age do you expect kids to be able to swallow medicine (small tablets)?

My daughter is 9.5yo... she just wasted two doses of her medicine (antibiotics to try and kick this crud all three of my kids have had for over a week now) because she wouldn't swallow them and kept making herself puke... she took a bigger one than these just a few days ago, after much fighting and arguing but she took it, this time she just got so hysterical she ended up puking all over herself and the floor and threw up both pills in the trash... i don't know whether to call the doctor and ask for more or just try and get her to take the rest for the next few days and hope its enough... she only had to take 2 today and 1 for the next four days, she has 3 left cause she wasted the first two and we finally just let her chew the 3rd one although I really don't think they are supposed to be chewables... Sigh.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:17 PM on Dec. 17, 2012 in Kids' Health

Answers (18)
  • my dd has been able to since she was 5

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 6:44 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • NP is right. The doctor is being an ass. My son has autism and has been able to swallow pills since he was 4, but for some reason, some doctors think he can't so even at age 13, new doctors often prescribe a liquid form (much to my annoyance).

    But, to train him, I put it in yogurt and he swallowed the whole thing.

    I actually still have problems swallowing some pills and I need milk to help wash it down. It seems to work better than water for me.

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:00 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • We tried everything with my oldest son. It was awful! No matter what we tried his tongue would find the pill and it wouldn't go down. Finally I figured out that if there is already chunky stuff in his mouth his tongue won't find the pill. So I would give him a bite of food that had some texture, usually corn, then have him chew it until he was ready to swallow. He would open his mouth before swallowing and I would pop the pill in. He would swallow with a big drink of water. It worked great. It would work with fruit, bread, anything with texture.

    Good luck!

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 7:15 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • My 20 yr old brother still can't swallow a pill. A few years ago my mom had the doctor give him amoxacylin (SP?).. yeah, the pink bubble gum stuff! He had to calculate the dose that would be effective for my brother. My other brother has no problems with swallowing pills. He practiced with M&Ms and did just fine. Have her practice with M&Ms and see how it goes. Or, try the applesauce.

    Answer by Nicoles2LilRams at 7:18 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • My almost 7 yo had to take an adult ibuprofen the other day (1 of those is equal to 2 chewables). I won't be buying chewables for her any longer.

    Answer by coala at 8:41 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • I couldn't swallow a pill until I was in high school and at 41, I still have issues if the pills are big. I gagged every time I took the prenatals when I was pregnant. My son started swallowing pills in 4th grade. He's strange and can swallow pills better "dry". The doctor is an ass, demand liquid form until your child can comfortably swallow pills, especially if she already has throat issues.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:45 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • Can you cut the pill in half? I cut vitamin pills to this day because my stomach gets cramps from swallowing a whole pill. I don't think the body is meant to absorb nutrients and medication from large pills. There have also been recalls on some over the counter and prescription medications because the pills did not dissolve that well and led to liver damage. (As an aside, also check the FDA recall website before taking any pills because even pills like Tylenol and Advil have had batches recalled for contamination by metal pieces.) I did not swallow pills until I was in my late teens. It's mostly a coordination issue with learning to swallow a solid the same time as a liquid. The other part of it was a mental block from several times where I choked on food (fish bones, peas, etc.) as a kid so my mind really didn't trust swallowing any non-liquid. Maybe let her practice with small pills first. Be patient.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 7:02 AM on Dec. 18, 2012

  • P.S. smashing the pill into powder form in a cup and mixing it with a little water should also be okay for the few pills she has left. The important thing is to make sure she gets the medication, right?

    Answer by hellokittykat at 7:03 AM on Dec. 18, 2012

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