4.6 Administering medicines

Dysphagia may cause problems taking medicines, especially medication given in the form of tablets or capsules. Alternative medicines or different forms, such as liquid medicine, may need to be considered.   

This section contains some academic articles and on-line resources about the challenges associated with safe, medicines management.   As such, this information is likely to be of most interest to: 

·         Staff working in health and social care

·         Trainers delivering sessions about dysphagia

·         People with swallowing problems and their families and friends

·         Students studying health or social care.

Consult your pharmacist, doctor or nurse for advice about medicines for people with swallowing problems; especially about managing your medication at home.


On-line resources

Swallowing difficulties: a website designed to help patients, carers and healthcare professionals to make more informed decisions when taking, administering or prescribing medicines for patients with swallowing difficulties.  See here.

Rosemont Pharmaceuticals produced a DVD in 2007 called “I can’t swallow pills”: Medication Management of patients with Dysphagia. See www.rosemontpharma.com  


Bennett B et al (2013) Medication management in patients with dysphagia: a service evaluation. Nursing Standard. 27, 41, 41-48, see here.

Kelly J et al (2009) A qualitative study of the problems surrounding medicine administration to patients with dysphagia.   Dysphagia 24:49–56. DOI 10.1007/s00455-008-9170-3

Kelly J et al (2010) An analysis of two incidents of medicine administration to a patient with dysphagia.  Journal of Clinical Nursing.   DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03457.x

Phillips NM & Endacott R (2011) Medication administration via enteral tubes: a survey of nurses’ practices.  Journal of Advanced Nursing, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05688.x

Wright KJ (2009) Administering medication to adult patients with dysphagia: part one, Nursing Standard. 23, 29, 61-68, see here.

Wright KJ (2010) Administering medication to adult patients with dysphagia: part two, Nursing Standard. 24, 26, 61-68, see here.