A swallowing problem could create an obstruction that interferes with your breathing. If this happens. a Heimlich Maneuver will be needed immediately. Click here for information for people close to you to learn how to do the maneuver. The same link provides information about how to do the maneuver yourself if you are alone. In any event, if there is an obstruction and a Heimlich doesn't work - call 911 immediately.
If swallowing pills, food or drink is difficult, there are tips to keep in mind which are discussed in this article under the following headings:
If the tips in this article do not help, tell your doctor.
- Difficulty swallowing can lead to malnutrition and weight loss.
- The symptoms could be caused by something other than your treatment.
- Your doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in swallowing problems (generally a speech and language pathologist).
- Ask if the form of the drug can be changed by compounding. With compounding, a drug which usually is sold in one form can be changed into another form. The effect in the body is the same. It's the delivery system that is different. For example, a drug that is normally taken in pill form may be able to be changed into a wearable patch. You then absorb the drug from the patch through your skin.