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According to a study conducted in Italy, many people find themselves in difficulty when they have to ingest a tablet. Among the reasons there are some really weird things, but the main reasons seem to be the shape and, above all, the size. There are many who fear that due to its size, the tablet cannot break through our tonsils and complete its journey. Many, to solve the problem, break the tablet into two parts so as to reduce the size and make it easier to take.

According to what emerges from the statistics, this problem concerns mainly the elderly and children, but the percentage which concerns children is not to be underestimated. Many specialists answered our questions, first of all we wondered if this practice was correct or not: let’s see it together. Industry experts point out that this is a fairly common practice among patients with swallowing disorders or neurological conditions like dementia.

By breaking the tablet, we will modify it with the possibility of damaging, in addition to the outer coating, the medicine itself. The mucous membrane is a fundamental element, since it protects the stomach from harmful effects, but also helps to counteract a decrease in the effect of the drug itself. Doctors say that popping pills definitely increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects, but very often that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In fact, there are drugs, such as enteric-coated, modified-release or even sublingual ones, that absolutely cannot be broken or even shredded even using the proper pill crusher. Experts advise us instead to take the same medicine in another pharmaceutical form which can be a syrup, an oral solution or drops. A study conducted by some RSA doctors on their elderly patients is interesting. These are people who, in addition to having difficulty swallowing, are also afraid to swallow these tablets.

Doctors administered the therapy for a few days with foods such as yogurt or other soft, easy-to-swallow foods. It should be noted that this practice is not universally feasible and therefore it is better not to risk significantly lowering the pharmacological effect. There are, however, tablets that can be broken: where possible, the packaging will say “breakable tablet” and so we can proceed without having to worry about limiting the pharmacological effect or harming the patient.

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