Useful information

Services to Help “Troublesome” Medications (2) Preparations for Patients with Difficulty Swallowing


As people get older, their swallowing function (the ability to swallow) deteriorates, making it difficult for them to take their medications. In particular, there are many people who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules because they feel as if they are stuck in their throats.
One way to deal with this is to use a “medication aid jelly” or “medicated oblate” that can be swallowed with the medicine or have the medicine’s shape changed.

Change to a form that is easy to swallow

If you want to change the form (dosage form) of medicine because it is difficult to swallow, first consult your doctor. In some cases, there are drugs with the same efficacy but in a different form.
In some cases, if the over-the-counter product is not available, the pharmacy may be able to change the form with your doctor’s approval.
For example, large tablets or capsules are difficult to swallow, so the pharmacy can crush a large tablet into a powder or remove the powder from a capsule, etc. Two different types of tablets can be crushed and combined into one.

It is not always possible to change the form of a medicine

However, in not all cases can the form of the drug be changed.
Processing of dosage forms must be based on pharmacological knowledge, taking into account the properties of the drug and the characteristics of the formulation. There are some medications that cannot be processed (i.e., their form cannot be changed).
Please consult your pharmacist to find out if you can change the form of your prescribed medication.

Costs for “Preparations for People with Difficulty Swallowing”

For those who have difficulty swallowing medication, the preparation of the medication in a form that is easier to swallow is called a “preparation for persons with difficulty swallowing”.
When using this service, a fee of 80 points (800 yen) is charged per prescription receipt as an “additional charge” for preparation for persons with difficulty swallowing. However, the patient’s payment (co-payment) is 10 to 30% of this amount.
This service is available for elderly patients whose swallowing function has deteriorated, as well as for children, so please consult with your doctor or pharmacist.