I can't swallow pills, is there another way to take ellaOne?

Ask Ella
Ask Ella

We at ellaOne® often hear from people who say that they can’t swallow contraceptive pills and want to know about other ways of taking emergency contraceptive pills such as ellaOne®. 

There are so many types of birth control available to prevent pregnancy, but the only ones which can help following an incident of unprotected sex are the morning after pill or the intrauterine device (IUD). For those who experience difficulty swallowing pills, unfortunately, there are no liquid medicines or other alternatives to the morning after pill available.

Ever wonder why you find it hard to swallow pills? In this article, we are going to explain why some people find it more challenging than others and why you cannot crush ellaOne pills and give you some tips that might make it easier to swallow this medication.

Why do some people have trouble swallowing pills?

There are many reasons someone might experience swallowing difficulties with pills, regardless of whether they are in the form of tablets or capsules. You might feel fear or anxiety, or it could be a sign of dysphagia which can cause issues with the muscles involved in swallowing. Amongst other things, dysphagia can be identified by choking or vomiting when attempting to swallow, or in some cases an inability to chew at all. As you can imagine, this can make things very difficult when swallowing food or drink.

If you suspect that you are suffering from dysphagia or another condition that makes it difficult to swallow pills, it would be a good idea for you to speak to a healthcare professional to make sure that it is not a symptom of another condition and so they can help you find ways to manage it.

Pill anxiety is also common and it can be helpful for anyone dealing with it to consult a healthcare professional, especially if it impacts their ability to take necessary medication. Fears and anxieties around swallowing pills can cause a mental block that will stop the user from being able to swallow at all, despite otherwise being physically capable of doing so.

Can I crush or break ellaOne® tablets?

ellaOne® has a film coating which not only helps make it easier to swallow, but prevents the tablet from dissolving immediately once it reaches the acid present in the stomach. If it is absent or broken in some way, there is nothing shielding the pill itself from breaking down before it can have any effect. 

Breaking or removing the film coating makes ellaOne® less effective and could also cause irritation and unexpected side effects. So the answer to whether you can crush or break ellaOne® tablets is a firm no – ellaOne® must be consumed intact. 

What to do if you can’t swallow a pill?

So, if you have difficulty swallowing pills, you may be wondering what you should do if you can’t crush them.

One recommended method is known as the “pop bottle method”. To follow this approach, you put the pill on your tongue before placing your lips tightly around the opening of a water bottle, tilting your head back and sucking the water down along with the pill.

There’s also the “lean forward technique”, which involves placing the pill on your tongue and taking a sip of water before leaning forward and swallowing. This causes the pill to float toward the back of your throat before you swallow, helping the pill to go down more easily.

It can also help to place the pill in your mouth after the water so that you are less likely to feel the pill itself on your tongue. 

These techniques have helped people to take their medication but might not work for you. If any of these approaches cause you to feel like you’re choking or are generally ineffective, it may be time to speak to a healthcare professional so that it does not stop you from taking any medication you may require now or in the future. It could really help to speak to your GP, especially if you are worried it may stem from a larger problem, but your pharmacist also is also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to medication and taking it correctly.

If you are interested in finding out more about the morning after pill, visit our website to find out more about ellaOne®, check out some of our features on topics like sex education and learn about others’ experiences with the morning after pill

You can also buy ellaOne® online but if you would like to further discuss ways to make it easier to swallow pills or anything else at all about ellaOne® with a pharmacist, you can buy ellaOne® at a pharmacy too. 

ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.