Pill Stuck In Throat: What To Do Next


The feeling of something stuck in your throat is a miserable feeling. And if not taken care of immediately can become life-threatening. This usually happens when a patient is taking their medicine.

We as humans are habituated to swallowing everything after we have chewed it to a smaller size. 


With medicine, we cannot do that. There are many people suffering from gagging while taking medicine and pills being stuck inside their throats. 

Knowing that this is a common problem and many experiences on a daily basis, we decided to create a piece of information to help them out.

But first…

Why Do Pill Get Stuck Inside The Throat

While there are a lot of factors that result in pills sticking inside the throat, there is one common reason – lack of moisture to lubricate the movement of pills. 

Some pills and tablets have a protective coating that makes them harder to swallow. In that case, we need an addiction lubricant that can be used to swallow the pill. This is where Gloup swallowing gel shines the most.

However, it is not always the fault of pills that get stuck inside the throat. There is a medical condition where an individual suffering from swallowing anything a little bigger changes chewed food.

People with this disorder might find it difficult and painful to swallow anything.

What To Do When A Pill Is Stuck In Throat?

Pills being stuck inside the throat is dangerous and can happen anytime. Hence, it is important that you are prepared in any situation to deal with this kind of problem.

When Alone!

If a person is alone and choking themselves, they should first dial 9-1-1. Then, after informing the current situation, you must perform Heimlich Maneuver while the help is on the way.

How to do that –

  • Make a fist with one hand, then place it just above your belly button. 
  • Now grab your wrist with your opposite hand.
  • Find something sturdy to bend over. It can be anything – table, chair, bed edge – anything that will offer support.
  • Now use that sturdy object for more force. Now push yourself against the fist to force the object out of the throat.

The Heimlich maneuver is an effective way to clear your stuck throat. Studies state that this method is as effective as having someone else do it.

What If You Cannot Breath?

There are times when the pill can completely block the air passage. This results in a person suffering from breathing. In such a scenario, there are two things that can be done. One is the Heimlich Maneuver, and the other is the Five-And-Five method.

While we have talked about the Heimlich maneuver above, it was for operating oneself. Here we will talk about how you can operate on another person.

Heimlich Maneuver

  • Stand behind the choking person.
  • Grab them from behind.
  • Wrap your arms around their mid-abdomen.
  • Lean the patients forward.
  • Press their abdomen.
  • Repeat this for five minutes.
  • If the pill is still stuck, repeat it again.

If the person has problems breathing and medical help is still on the way, use your finger to clear the throat. And if you can see the pill, push or pull the pill.

Five-And-Five Method

  • Stand behind the back of the person. 
  • Lean them forward.
  • Now, give five blows to the patient’s back.
  • Once you have done that. Keep your wrist (thumb facing above) on the abdomen of the patient. 
  • Hold your wrist using the other hand.
  • Now give 5 quick shoves to the abdomen.
  • Repeat the process until you get the result.

Final Thoughts

Getting a pill stuck in your throat can be irritating, alarming, and sometimes life-threatening. In most cases, the pill is not stuck in the airway but in the esophagus. 

When a pill is stuck, the best way to solve the problem is by coughing out the pill or drinking lots of water. However, to ensure you do not find yourself in the same situation, drink loads of water or use swallowing gel.