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Pill swallowing difficulty is a serious issue. Here's your answer.
Between 15 and 33 percent of long-term care residents have swallowing difficulties.1
Swallowing problems are associated with increased age, cancer treatment, and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke.1 Crushing and mixing pills with juice, applesauce, or thickeners to ease swallowing remains common but can alter drug release2 and expose providers to occupational hazard and legal liability.1,3
Phazix® (PSG)—the first purpose-designed medication lubricant—provides a safe, simple, well-accepted alternative.
- Easy and effective—just add a teaspoon of gel over a pill or tablet to ease swallowing
- Pleasant vanilla flavor masks medication taste, smell
- All-natural ingredients with half the sugar of Mott’s applesauce (0.55g/1 tsp vs 1.06g/1 tsp)4
- No known effect on medication absorption rate5
- Breaks down quickly in the stomach
- Well-accepted by care providers6
- 60-day open shelf-life on a med cart, refrigeration not required4
- Simplifies infection control protocols requiring refrigeration of foods (e.g., apple sauce)
- Available in 2 IDDSI levels—Phazix® (Level 3 Moderately Thick and Level 4 Extremely Thick)
Note: Phazix® Pill Swallowing Gel is registered with the FDA as a Class I Medical Device.
Supporting evidence pill crushing should be avoided
Inadvertent crushing of controlled-release medications destroys their release characteristics, subjecting patients to risk of toxicity.7 Even when pill crushing is not contraindicated by the manufacturer, crushing may introduce a high risk of variable dosing or side effects.8 Mixing crushed medications with juice, applesauce-like foods, or thickeners is known to alter the drug effect of medications.2,9 The law requires that medicines be given in the correct form and dose.3 Pill crushing may expose care providers to occupational hazards associated with pulverized medications and legal liability related to off-label use.1,3
A PSG can reduce pill crushing
In a 2019 survey taken at the 160-bed Landsdowne Aged Care facility, Cabramatta NSW, Australia, use of a PSG reduced overall pill crushing in the facility by 38%.4 Adoption of a PSG was part of an improvement project to reduce incidence of medication crushing in the facility.
A PSG is well-accepted by care providers
A 2019 survey6 (n=355) of healthcare workers across Australia queried their experiences with a PSG.* A majority (n=170) had used the product. This group was queried on responses to the statement: “A pill swallowing gel is an effective method to facilitate pill-swallowing in residents.” Nearly 90% strongly agreed, agreed, or tended to agree with the statement. Easier medication administration (48%), reduction in need to crush (34%), and better medication compliance (33%) were reported as main benefits.
*Australian trade name for the product was Gloup®
- Morris H. Administering drugs to patients with swallowing difficulties. Nurs Times. 2005;101(39):28-30.
- Manrique Y, Lee D, Islam F, et al. Crushed tablets: does the administration of food vehicles and thickened fluids to aid medication swallowing alter drug release? J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014;17(2):207-219.
- Griffith R, Griffiths H, Jordan S. Administration of medicines part 1: the law and nursing. Nurs Stand. 2003;18(2):47-56.
- ARKRAY data on file.
- Crino L, Manrique-Torres Y, Cichero J, Steadman K. Characterization of Gloup: is it suitable for medication delivery in dysphagic patients. Paper presented at: APSA-ASCEPT Joint Scientific Meeting. 2015.
- Halouh M, Forough A, Chicero J, Lau E, Nissen L, Steadman K. Experiences with using Gloup medication lubricant: What do Australian aged care facility healthcare workers think? APSA Annual Conference; Dec 1-4, 2019; Melbourne, AU.
- Schier JG, Howland MA, Hoffman RS, Nelson LS. Fatality from administration of labetalol and crushed extended-release nifedipine. Ann Pharmacother. 2003;37(10):1420-1423.
- Burridge N, Deidun D. Australian don’t rush to crush handbook: therapeutic options for people unable to swallow solid oral medicines. Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia; 2011.
- Cichero JA. Thickening agents used for dysphagia management: effect on bioavailability of water, medication and feelings of satiety. Nutr J. 2013;12(1):54.