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frogslegs

Accutane Pill Swallowing Tips?

Hey everyone, I'm pretty new to Accutane (just took my second pill about 10 minutes ago, started yesterday), but I've always struggled with taking pills.

I've recently begun to take smaller advil/tylenol pills but I usually break them first. I'm almost 100% sure you're not supposed to crush Accutane pills so i have not been.

I was put on the 40mg peachy pills and both times I have struggled to swallow the pill. First time I tried putting it in bread, somehow thought that would help lol, but it didn't. I've gagged both times and I can't continue like this, struggling to swallow the pill each day for numerous months.

With smaller pills I'll put water in my mouth first, pill, then more water to swallow with, but that's just not doing it for me with the pill. Today I tried eating an Oreo and putting the pill in to swallow with the Oreo pieces in hopes that it would just feel like food to me. Yeah, didn't really help either.

Basically the point of this thread is... do any of you have troubles taking the Accutane pills? If so, how do you overcome it? Do you have any tips that you can share for swallowing the pills?

Thanks to anyone who can suggest anything!

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If you're having trouble swallowing the 40mg, you could ask for the 10mg equivalence of 40mg and then take 4 at the time of dosing. If you still have difficulties, you can inquire about the availability of Accutane as a suppository (pushed through the rectum).

Like you've pointed out, a capsule of isotretinoin is not meant to be crushed - it screws with absorption.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the helpful reply, Nomit. If they're much smaller then maybe that would be a good option for me. Do you know if I'd have to take the rest of my month's prescription before I could switch to a smaller dosage?

It's completely covered by insurance but I'm not sure if they'd want the supply to be different, or if I"d have to consult with my doctor, etc.

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Thanks for the helpful reply, Nomit. If they're much smaller then maybe that would be a good option for me. Do you know if I'd have to take the rest of my month's prescription before I could switch to a smaller dosage?

It's completely covered by insurance but I'm not sure if they'd want the supply to be different, or if I"d have to consult with my doctor, etc.

Your insurance will probably give you a hard time if you opt for a full course of the 10s in the middle of the month (with the 40s going to waste). They might be more reasonable if you get a smaller prescription:

30 [days] = 30 [40mg] OR 120 [10mg]

Let's say you're 2 weeks into your course:

16 [days] = 16 [40mg] OR 64 [10mg]

I believe 10s come only in packages of 30 (unless you can arrange with your pharmacist to pack 4 additional pills), so you'd need about 2 packets to get you through the rest of the month (give or take a day).

You seem pretty sensitive to the size of pills, however, so you might want to ask your pharmacist (or doctor) about alternative formulations of isotretinoin (as I said earlier, suppositories are one option) if the 10s are still uncomfortable to swallow.

Also worth noting, you'll need to make an appointment with your doctor (and, if you're female, submit another pregnancy test) before you can get another fill. Isotretinoin is a tightly regulated medication (unfortunately so, really), and your doctor might just have you tough through the remainder of your prescription (easier said than done).

Good luck!

Edited by nomit

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Hi Frogslegs - I feel for you. I have alot of anxiety over swallowing pills too as I have a slight phobia over choking. The only thing that helped me was loads of water like you mentioned and also reminding myself that most mouthfuls of food that I swallow are actually bigger than those pills. If you can somehow force yourself to do those first few times it gets easier, I promise.

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Practice by swallowing tic tacs, and work your way up with candy like that until you're used to it? I took 40's a couple months ago and they're about the same size as a large Tylenol pill, and they're slippery so you don't really need the water/pill combination in your mouth. The only way you'll get better at it is by repetition. I sucked too at swallowing pills up until high school when it became a routine.

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I used to swallow large pills by putting it in a spoonful of yogurt, or like jello pudding type stuff or even some good old motts applesauce. I don't have a problem now, but my iso tablets are actually like rounded football shaped gelatinous capsules so they slip right down with no problem. I even take them both at the same time with a mouthful of milk.

Do try hiding it in a big spoonful of chocolate pudding or something like that.....

Good luck :)

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Thanks for the kind words and suggestions everybody!!

@nomit I was able to get a new prescription from my doctor for the 10mg pills and put it in yesterday, and picked them up today no hassle whatsoever which is great. Was given 4 packs so I should be good for this month. My doctor had called me in to look over my blood test results (nothing serious, just need to eat more iron), so I asked her about it and she wrote the prescription.

I took the first pill no problem, the second one I had some anxiety over so I swallowed it with some bread, and I managed to get the rest down no problem. Thanks for the suggestion about the suppository, but I'd rather stick with the pills, heh.

@Roisin75 Thanks for the kind words!I've slowly been getting over my pill anxiety but I still have troubles with the bigger pills. I try to think of the food I' swallowing as I swallow the pill, but somehow I still have trouble getting it down lol. Even today though, tang my first batch of 4 10mg pills, it definitely got easier after I took the first couple because it was nothing!

@Highlight Thanks for the suggestion! There was a couple of larger tylenol cold and flu pills I tried to swallow and with the "E-Z tab" coating it made it easier. These 10mg pills are nothing in comparison! I'm hoping by the end of the month I'll be a pro lol.

@jennbomb Actually I tried it with butterscotch pudding last night lol. Didn't like the pudding so I couldn't do it, but I'm going out in a bit to get chocolate pudding to try that! I know the pill isn't too big, but I think the pudding will help a lot. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Put the pill in your mouth, and then drink juice or something through a straw. The way your mouth is shaped when you drink from a straw lets pills go down better than the normal way.

I had a friend who had cancer and was taking HUGE chemo pills. She had a terrible time swallowing them until she learning about the straw trick.

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I don't have a problem with pills, but I know some who do. My trick is, drink water first, and have a good amount in your mouth, then when you're not thinking about it, pop a pill in and swallow the water as if nothing happened. Then just follow that up with a couple gulps of water or whatever you're drinking. But I always do water first, then pill, and that way I don't get weird tastes or any problems.

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