To overcome swallowing difficulties, patients may modify their medicine, such as by crushing tablets or opening capsules. In a survey of customers at five community pharmacies in Australia, 16.5% of 369 respondents reported swallowing difficulties and 10.6% admitted to modifying their medication.
Of concern, 44.2% of those surveyed did not think that modifying their medication would pose any issues and around a quarter of respondents said they would not seek advice from a health professional for swallowing difficulties.
“Health professionals must be assertive in educating consumers about swallowing problems, and medication dosage form modification,” the researchers conclude in the Journal of
Pharmacy Practice and Research
(online, 10 March 2015).
 Lau ETL, Steadman KJ, Mak M et al. Prevalence of swallowing difficulties and medication modification in customers of community pharmacists. Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research 2015;45:18–23. doi:10.1002/jppr.1052.