taking pills

Discussion in 'General' started by Kathlene, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Kathlene

    Kathlene Well-Known Member

    My 11 year old dghtr was recently prescribed adhd medicine in the form of a time released capsule. The problem is she either can't or won't swallow the pill. I have tried every trick in the book I can think of. I had to physically force her to take it the last 2 days. This is not something I enjoy or want to do. I am at my wits end. It seems to be a mind thing. She is an immature 11. The reason we are putting her on this medicine is not behavior related; it is for school. The school says she is emd (educationally mentally disabled). The neurologist says she just learns slow like at 86 mph in a 100 mph world. He feels the meds will help her pay attn and concentrate. She is not perfect but has no behavior problems. The reason I share this is in the hopes of getting more feedback help. I need to know how to get her to swallow the pills. She spits it out when it touches the back of the throat saying she is choking. Pls offer positive advice. TIA.
  2. ihavesevensons

    ihavesevensons Well-Known Member

    One of my kids was just DX with "ADHD inattentive" it is the type that he has trouble paying attention, but NOT bouncing off of the walls and such. He also has trouble swallowing pills. Sounds just like what you are going through.

    Have you asked your doctor if there is a different form of the med (for example Concerta is a long acting med that only needs to be taken once a day, and Ritalin is basically the same drug but fast acting and needs to be taken more often). You cannot crush or chew either though. Did you let her doctor know that you are struggling with getting her to take it?

    You could also have her practice swallowing with smarties candies, or tic tacks, or m&&m's.

    Put the real med in a chunk of cheese, in a spoonful of peanut butter, in a tsp of honey, a spoonful of yogurt, etc

    It is very hard, and very frustrating (I am living it, just like you). You are doing a great job with her and getting her this far.....keep us the good work.
    1 person likes this.
  3. TwinsInOkinawa

    TwinsInOkinawa Well-Known Member

    I don't have any advice, just wanted to give a :grouphug:
  4. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I can't swallow pills. The worst thing for me was the pressure to do it. I have a sensitive gag reflex and my mom was stressed out about me taking the pill and annoyed when I couldn't. It was awful. I'd suggest a ton of patience and start with mini m&ms. I would also call the doc to see what alternatives are available as well as a compounding pharmacy. Sometimes they can make things a liquid that otherwise aren't.

    I'm just curious- if she learns slowly, but is functioning ok- are there modifications or accommodations the school can do other than medicating her?
  5. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    what we do in the hospital with elderly people that have dysphagia is to put the pills in applesauce...it helps everything slide right down...and not just a spoonful - take a full single sized cup of applesauce and put the pill in it...mix it around - it will help soften the exterior a bit and help her get it down...
  6. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I second asking for a compounded mixture. Possibly a specialized pharmacy can make your DD a powdered form or a liquid.

    Some pills *cant* be crushed, spread on applesauce, etc since it can change the effectiveness and/or absorption rate.

    As for practicing taking pills, as pp said-- start small with tic tacs or something. Also a good sized swig of water/milk/etc and it floats down when you swallow. Or even drink a slurpee or something cold- that can dampen the gag reflex at bit due to cold!

    Maybe offer an incentive to help her practice: like after she takes 2 then she can have x. then she has to take 4....etc until she takes them easier.
  7. Kathlene

    Kathlene Well-Known Member

    I already tried the cheese, the peanut butter, out of icing and apple sauce. We tried water first, water second, pill in the back of the throat, etc. Guess I will call Dr. in morning. We tried practicing with pieces of fig newton in PB. She basically spits the pill out as soon as it touches the back of her throat. She says it feels like she is choking.
    The school has an IEP (indidual education plan ) for her in effect. They have decided she has an IQ of 62 (I promise I don't believe it for a second.) They r basically saying she is an overachiever and we need to teach her basic life skills and be satisfied with that. IF that was all she was capable of I still would strive for more.
    I do wonder if she has undiagnosed sensory disorders or a small throat, She is and always has been a terribly slow, picky eater. For instance it averages her around 30 minutes now to eat a bowl with 2 packets of instant oatmeal. I noticed she is chewing every bite for what feels like forever. 30 min's is with me ride her to HURRY UP,GGGRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! It seems to hurt her stomach without food but I don't want to feed her first and have her throw up.
    The neurologist says adhd and learning severe learning disabilities in math and reading. We are not ones to medicate lightly. To be honest we don't believe in it for the most part. Seems like a crutch for SOME people.She is going into 5th grade at 1.5 reading level. I was forced to hold her back in 2nd in order to get her the help she needed. This has been going on since pre-k.
    She sounds like your son ihave8sons and like u cheezewhiz24. It is awful! I dread the morning already and it will only be day 3. Wahhhhh. Thx for all the help.
  8. ktfan

    ktfan Well-Known Member

    I hope you are able to find a solution easily. My oldest is the type that can't do it if someone is watching her. If it's something I need to be 100% sure she takes, I stand by her but turn my back.

    I know you've already tried applesauce but I wanted to speak to the above. You don't want to let the coating of an extended release pill soften as that will interfere with how quickly the digestive system breaks it down which in turn effects how it is absorbed. You can put a whole pill in applesauce (do it all the time with patients on mechanical soft diets) but you want to put it in right as you are scooping the applesauce up. Now, if it's a pill that could be crushed or a capsule you could open, that's a different story.
  9. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Blech. What a crappy situation. :hug: Can you get an independent eval which contradicts the schools' findings (since you believe them to be false?) Putting people with disabilities in a box (ie- she'll never, he should just, etc) is probably one of my highest pet peeves.

    When you call the doc, what I do when I need a non pill is first be firm. Pills don't work for me. Prescribe something in a liquid. Treat me like a small child or someone unconscious. I personally don't mind a shot or will take something nasty tasting.
  10. Kathlene

    Kathlene Well-Known Member

    The independent neurologist says adhd and LD. I took my report back to the school with his findings and requested a new evaluation. The school is going to order a new test however they caution me that the results are just higher with Dr. Brown because she "knows" the test. They say she is not going to be taught any different so it doesn't matter. I know in my heart she has it in her she just needs the right person to unlock it for her. I had a reading and math LD as a child. I had an excellent teacher who helped me overcome my reading disability. Math is not my strongest point. I can do it. I am not going to be doing any higher learning maths though, thats for sure,lol. Sorry to vent. Wanted to update respond. The not reading but barely on a 1.5 grade level really concerns me. Reading makes the world go round. In this day and age of cpus u aren't going to get anywhere if u can't read and operate a cpu. Even if it is to put in an application only.
  11. 2 Munchkins

    2 Munchkins Well-Known Member

    Have you had her vision tested? Isabel had a visions tracking problem, and most of her words were blurred together. She could read and write legigble for short amounts of time, but hated every minute of it, which is understandable. We had 6 months of visions therapy, and things have improved tremendously. You need to find an optomotrist that specialies in vision training.
  12. Cristina

    Cristina Well-Known Member

    My son Joel has many mental health issues, and has been taking meds since he was 4. He is now 12. He still can not take pills. It is impossible for him. It limits us because many meds can't be crushed or opened and put in applesauce, which is what we do. All his meds, except his bipolar meds, are crushed. His bipolar med is a liquid.

    His psychiatrist just told me that he has a contract with a company here in Illinois that can make any medication into a liquid form. We are so thrilled about that, so the next time we have to switched meds, that is what we will do. I don't know the company, but maybe your Dr. has some kind of connection with that? If i find out, I am happy to IM you and let you know.

    Also, this didn't work with Joel, but I know some parents who have had success with this cup:

    Pill cup
  13. Kathlene

    Kathlene Well-Known Member

    I am looking at this cups reviews. It might work. Thank you.
  14. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My 12 year old could not swallow pills, either. She would gag, choke, and cry every time she tried it. What worked for her turned out to be really simple, I had her put the pill toward the back of her tongue, then gave her a glass of water & told her not to just take a sip of it but to ignore the pill & drink the whole glass without stopping. She did & the pill went down, no problem. The worst of it for her was getting past the fact that she just knew she couldn't do it. Once she was successful that one time, she had no problems after.
  15. Kathlene

    Kathlene Well-Known Member

    I was looking at the oralflo cup but at 15.00 plus sh. It is kinds pricey right now budget wise. I like the idea but have tried a variation of it. As soon as she felt it touch her throat she overreacted by basically freaking herself out and making a huge mess. Making me hugely angry. A controlled angry but I was not happy with the dramatics. As best as I can tell she is taking the pill and shoving it to the front of her mouth or cheek as soon as she feels it even about to touch her throat. At the moment I am out of ideas except for the cup but seriously doubtful about it too. Dr. ids only in on Wed. will know more then, I guess.
  16. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Call around to a few bigger pharmacies- they may carry it. I'm sorry this is frustrating for you; for me, I'm usually a people-pleaser but swallowing pills really freaked me out. :(
  17. Kathlene

    Kathlene Well-Known Member

    She is (mostly, lol) a very sweet girl. She does try hard to please. I meant to ask WM if they carried it or something similar. I totally forgot though, grrrrrr. I will ask when I go again.

    I must have missed the earlier post about vision. I have had her vision checked. We go again on the 26th of Sept. Is there a specific test to request or just a regular exam would catch it?
  18. 2 Munchkins

    2 Munchkins Well-Known Member

    The optomotrist needs to be trained to look for vision problems. Isabel has 20/20 vision, but had tracking problems. Here is a link to check it out and to find a doc. Vision
  19. Kathlene

    Kathlene Well-Known Member

    Will ask about vision problems at our upcoming appt.
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