Medicine Management for Patients with Trouble Swallowing Pills
The prescription and administration of medicines is an essential aspect of patient care, but difficulty in swallowing including clinical dysphagia can compromise a person’s ability to take solid medication and around 60% of people over the age of 60 have experienced trouble swallowing pills or capsules at some time .
However, difficulty in swallowing can affect medicines adherence in any patient at any age and younger patients and children may also find tablets too difficult to swallow well into their teenage years. The need for alternative solutions in the form of liquid medicines provides a safe and effective solution.
People with Learning Disabilities experience a higher incidence of health problems than the general population. The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) identified dysphagia as a key area of risk in these patients. Identifying and managing swallowing difficulties in adults with learning disability is a recently published guideline and is presented via an educational webcast which is supported by an educational grant from Rosemont Pharmaceuticals.
Crushing Tablets – An Unnecessary Risk
The practice of tablet crushing or opening capsules to make the medication easier to swallow has become increasingly documented as potentially hazardous – however this has not resulted in crushing tablets becoming less widespread.
Medicine manipulation includes tablet crushing, opening capsules, dissolving, dispersing, and suspending solid medicines not licensed or designed for use in this way. It is a worryingly common response for patients that can’t swallow pills. The dangers of an uneven dispersion of medicine are one of the principal problems, with side-effects and risks of a potentially fatal overdose elevated when using such a method.
If the patient suffers harm as a result of unlicensed medicine manipulation, the prescriber and medication administrator (or person recommending the practice) could be judged legally liable.
Rosemont Pharmaceuticals – A Medical Resource for Health Professionals
Here you can find out more about difficulty in swallowing, dysphagia, medication management of patients who can’t swallow tablets, the use of licensed and unlicensed medicines and how to make medicines safer for children.
If you have any questions about us, or would like to know more – please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help with any medication management queries you might have, or alternatively please request a product reference guide for details about the liquid medicines we have available.